Sarnia City Hall

255 Christina Street North, Sarnia, ON.

City Hall is associated with Sarnia’s urban renewal phase following the devastation of the 1954 tornado.  Its construction followed Sarnia’s Official Plan of 1962, amidst an era of economic prosperity due to the growth of the petrochemical industry and the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Sited on Sarnia’s main street, City Hall was set back from the three adjacent streets as a three-dimensional object in a landscape.  The building, comprised of a three-storey volume intersecting a one-storey volume, has the presence of a civic landmark.  City Hall sits on a plinth in front of an urban plaza that reinforces its character.  A fountain in the plaza, dedicated to Mayor William C. Nelson in 1965, enhances the civic identity of Sarnia City Hall.

The modernity of the building is evident in its asymmetrical composition, massing, functional expression, rectilinear geometry, as well as the transparency of its public spaces.  Sarnia City Hall exhibits high quality materials and craftsmanship.  Traditional materials such as Queenston limestone and Canadian granite were used in a modern manner as thin cladding.  The interiors feature high quality materials such as terrazzo and mahogany.

The building has been in continuous use as the seat of the city government and its administration since Sarnia City Hall was inaugurated in 1965.  It has been the center for community events and is an integral part of the city center of Sarnia.

Sarnia City Hall retains a high level of integrity.  The building remains a significant example of the Modern Movement in the region.