Town Hall


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venue map legend

Venue Type & Location


Site Name: Unlocated site
Location: Kingston
County: Frontenac
Location Type: Town - multiple sites at uncertain locations


Address: 216 Ontario St. 


Here are a few quick facts about Kingston's City Hall National Historic site.

  • June 15, 1842, the town of Kingston publicized a competition for architects and builders for the design for a Town Hall and Market. The probable cost of construction was set at 10,000 pounds.
  • The design of the government architect George Browne (31 years old) was selected from the 12 submissions received from the contest. George Browne also designed the Mowat Building, the Victoria and Grey Trust Building, the S&R Department Store, the Presbyterian Manse and Rockwood Villa
  • The building was completed in December 1844, at a final cost slightly in excess of 25,000 pounds. The increased cost was due to additions and changes from the competition submission.
  • The original design of City Hall had a hemispherical dome with no clock faces or belfry. The belfry and clock were housed in a large square end block that originally extended the market wing all the way to King Street. The market wing end block was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 10, 1865. The original clock that had been given jointly by John Counter and John A. Macdonald was moved to the main dome.
  • The Governor General Sir Charles Metcalf laid the City Hall corner stone June 5, 1843.
  • Past tenants of City Hall include the Market Vendors, the Board of Trade, the Post Office, the Customs House, the Bank of British North America, the Mechanics Institute, the Orange Lodge, the Masons, the Merchants Exchange, A&D Shaw Dry Goods, various church groups, a saloon and some residential tenants.
  • After his death in 1891, the body of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister and one-time Kingston alderman, lay in state in what is now Memorial Hall, an impressive chamber dedicated in 1921 to honour the city's war dead.
  • In 1908 the cupola on top of the dome and part of the dome burned, the cupola was rebuilt in May 1909 and the new Seth Thomas clock and a new bell was installed. The 1908 clock and bell are the current clock and bell that are present in the dome today.
  • In 2002 a new copper roof and clock tower reconstruction commenced along with phase-one of the masonry restoration. All four clocks were removed so that the stained glass faces could be repaired.

"Historic City Hall." City of Kingston. Corporation of the City of Kingston.

Current Status

Kingston City Hall

Performer/Company at Town Hall

Performer/Company Patron Type # of events
Scogall Mr (-) 1
Mr. Scougall (-) Vocal Performance 1
Rodney Company (-) Dramatic 1

Events at Town Hall

Event Date Venue Location Troupe
Dramatic - Kingston, Frontenac Scogall Mr
Dramatic 1840- Kingston, Frontenac Mr. Scougall
Dramatic 1844-1844 Kingston, Frontenac Rodney Company