St. Lawrence Hall
St. Lawrence Hall is a meeting hall in Toronto, Canada next to the St. Lawrence Market. It was built, alongside the new city hall, in 1850 after an 1849 fire destroyed much of the market. The Renaissance Revival style building was designed by William Thomas. It was created to be Toronto's public meeting hall home to public gatherings, concerts, and exhibitions. Its main feature was a thousand seat amphitheater. For decades the hall was the centre of Toronto's social life. It was here that prominent politicians such as John A. Macdonald and George Brown (fathers of Canadian Confederation) addressed the people of Toronto. It was the main venue for musicians and other performers who came to the city. The lower levels were integrated into the market and were home to stores and businesses. A third story section of the building was known as St. Patrick Hall, an important meeting place for the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union. By the 1870s the growing city had a number of larger and more suitable performance venues and the Hall entered a long decline. It continued to serve a number of roles, including several years as the home of the National Ballet of Canada. It was fully restored in 1967 as the city of Toronto's project to mark Canada's centennial. Today the hall continues as a venue for events including weddings, conferences, and art shows.