History of City Hall

With the site fixed and design chosen, the next subject arose: Cherokee white marble versus Queenston limestone. The architects recommended the marble, which led to a weekend trip to New York City for the city hall committee to view some samples of buildings covered with this material. This visit was called "a preposterous waste of taxpayer's money" by Alderman John Munro. "It is absurd, as far as I am concerned...to appoint professional men, to hear their advice, to discuss that advice, and then to spend taxpayer's money in a wasteful journey to view the very stone that these same professional men say we should use in our new city hall," said Munro (62). Shortly after, it was proposed that they should be using Queenston limestone instead. "This is a city hall for Canadians, to be paid for by Canadians, and we can have stone mined by Canadians, and cut by Canadians, and then put in place by Canadians," said Controller McCoy. "My mind is made up - it's too bad about the colour" (63). Board of Control then voted 3-2 for limestone (63) and took their recommendation to City Council, which voted 13-6 for marble (64). 

Some councillors thought affairs were getting out of hand. Alderman Ramsey Evans stated that "[t]he whole thing is a squalid nuisance" (65), and Alderman Cline reminded them of another potential area of controversy: "[d]espite the abundance of trees in this country ... we have been told that the hardwood required for interior panelling can only come from the United States" (63). Other recommendations were somewhat less controversial. It was suggested that the pictures of past mayors be hung in the main lobby, that there should be a shower provided in the mayor's bathroom and that there should be a separate room near the City Clerk’s department for the issuing of marriage licenses. "Marriage is a personal thing," murmured Mrs. Pritchard. Alderman Morison agreed that it was disturbing to be handed a dog license by mistake (63). Hopes were high for the new building: "[o]h, the new city hall is going to be gorgeous - there is no doubt about that! It's probably going to be the finest municipal edifice in the British Commonwealth of Nations" (66).