Osgoode Hall, now a National Historic Site of Canada, occupies six acres that had been acquired by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1829. The name Osgoode Hall honours William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of the province. Osgoode Hall has withstood more than ten major restorations.
The front facade kept its original 1860 design although the original building had been built in 1832. The final expansion was completed in 1891.
 East side of Osgoode Hall showing addition and older section to the rear.
Ceiling detail in Great Library
 Ceiling of the main reading room in the Great Library
The interior of Osgoode Hall reflects 19th century architecture. Convocation Hall has various stained glass windows detailing the history of law. The Great Library has detailed plastering in the ceiling and cork floors. The rotunda has inlaid tiling on the floor with arched pillars. On the walls hang oil paintings of former Chief Justices of the Province.
In 1842, the city's northern limit was Dundas Street with the west boundary at Bathurst Street. In 1851 Osgoode Hall had streets surrounding it rather than farm fields. In 1858 there was an addition of an iron fence surrounding the landscaped grounds to keep cattle off the grounds.
In 1855 the court system was expanding, requiring more space. The firm of Cumberland & Storm were selected as they had designed such notable buildings: University College, St. James Cathedral, the 7th Post Office, several county courthouses, schools, and private homes in Ontario.
The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, opened the new addition on September 8, 1860.
The Rotunda features 19th century paintings, a skylight, a tile floor installed in the late 1850s. In the centre stands a statue to commemorate World War II.
Courtrooms #2, 3, & 4
The Courtrooms were designed between 1856 and 1860. Rosettes, cornices and figures are carved into the woodwork in Courtroom 3. The recent restoration of Courtroom 4 included extensive research of archival documents, photographs and site testing, such as paint sampling. The room is now believed to resemble its 1860s appearance quite closely.
[9 -Great Library: American Room]
The American Room was built in 1895 and features a stunning cast iron spiral staircase. The area was designed to provide as much wall space as possible and features a second level.
 The library holds nearly 17,000 books. The electrical fixtures in the room are the original design.
[11 - Great Library fireplace]
Within the Great Library is the Main Reading Room which houses the largest private law library in Canada with about 125,000 volumes. Some date back to the 16th century. Designed in 1857-1860, it features original etched glass windows, distinctive craftsmanship of the era, and a marble statute as a memorial of World War I, at the east end of the library . See photo No. 12.
Research: Ontario Archives, Livewithculture.ca, osgoodehall.com, wikipedia.
Photo Credits: -wikipedia, -fortinbras CC=nc-sa-flickr, -jennyrotten CC=nc-nd-flickr, -ettml, -bobby meneses, -gbalogh, -swilton, -tracer, -pkwok28, -swilton.
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