London City Hall was one a series of town halls constructed in Ontario in the post-war era, notably in Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor, Toronto and Brantford. The building and its designed landscape reflect themes of urbanization and the assertion of a modern civic identity.
Within the Forest City, the City Hall is situated opposite Victoria Park and forms part of a complex of three buildings (including Centennial Hall and Centennial Apartments) centered on a public urban plaza, Reginald Cooper Square.
The 12-storey building has a lozenge plan and is clad in white marble. A two-storey volume, clad in black granite, cantilevers over the entrance to the south and accommodates the mayor’s office. A matching two-storey volume, also finished in black granite, projects over the plaza to the north and accommodates the council chamber. Brightly coloured glazed bricks provide a colourful contrast to the white and black building stones.
The transparency of the ground floor communicates an open and democratic city government. The interiors feature a dramatic open stair, along with fine materials and craftsmanship. The building also features a public roof-top gallery, offering views over Victoria Park and adjacent institutional buildings in the city centre.
London City Hall is the final work of architect Philip Carter Johnson, a Massey medal winner. The building has been in continuous use as the seat of the city government and its administration since London City Hall opened in 1971. It has been the location of many important community events and is an integral part of the civic center of the city of London.
‘This is the building that started it for me,” says librarian and architecture enthusiast Sandra Miller. “When I first moved to London I thought, ‘This is an interesting building, what’s the story?’” London City Hall is indeed interesting; it’s another example of the importance given to Canadian civic buildings in the Modernist period. Designed by award-winning, local architect […]