Metro Hall, Toronto, 2003
British, Canadian, 1942
gelatin silver print
59.7 x 100.3 cm; image: 23.7 x 57.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41642)
© Geoffrey James
Commissioned in 1988 and opened in 1992, Metro Hall was built to centralize the departments of municipal government that had previously been spread among various rented properties. Only six years later, the provincial government forced Metropolitan Toronto to amalgamate with its six surrounding municipalities. The historic Toronto City Hall was chosen as the seat for the new “megacity” council, leaving the twenty-seven-storey Metro Hall in an ambiguous position. Attempts to sell the premises were unsuccessful, and the building continues to house municipal offices. The decision to convert the former council hall into an information call centre was opposed by city counsellors who wanted to commemorate their six years of municipal service in that room.