Civic Symbol: Creating Toronto's New City Hall, 1952-1966

Civic Symbol: Creating Toronto's New City Hall, 1952-1966

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Christopher Armstrong
Foreword by John Sewell
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
224 Pages 88 Images
ISBN 9781442650275
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 35%
 $49.95    $32.47
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442622708
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 36%
Full purchase $49.95

When Toronto’s New City Hall opened in 1965, it was an iconic modernist symbol for what was still a sedate and conservative city. Its futuristic design by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, composed of two curved towers flanking a clam-shaped council chamber, remains as strange and distinctive today as it did fifty years ago.

In Civic Symbol, Christopher Armstrong chronicles the complex and controversial development of this urban landmark from the initial international competition to the many debates that surrounded its construction and furnishing. Armstrong catalogs the many twists and turns along the path from idea to reality for the extraordinary building that Frank Lloyd Wright claimed future generations would say “marks the spot where Toronto fell.” Lavishly illustrated with contemporary photographs, plans, and drawings, Civic Symbol is the essential history of this iconic Canadian building.

Christopher Armstrong is a professor emeritus in the Department of History at York University and the author or co-author of ten books.


Chapter 1: Beginnings

Chapter 2: Competition

Chapter 3: Winner

Chapter 4: Construction

Chapter 5: Furnishings

Chapter 6: Opening

Chapter 7: Coda

“In Civic Symbol, the story of New City Hall's creation gets the book-length treatment it merits. Filled with fascinating stories and photographs, and based on exhaustive research, Civic Symbol is an important book about an important building.”

Mark Osbaldeston, author of 'Unbuilt Toronto: A History of the City That Might Have Been'

Award of Merit awarded by Heritage Toronto (Canada) - Winner in 2016