Breaking news: Saving our First Parliament

Upper Canada’s first parliament buildings

Photo: Upper Canada’s first parliament buildings


Ontario Heritage Trust

Archaeology, Buildings and architecture

Published Date: Feb 16, 2006

It was announced on December 21, 2005 that the site of Ontario’s first parliament buildings in Toronto has been saved. The Ontario Government, in partnership with the City of Toronto – and with the strong support of local heritage groups – has acquired a significant part of the site of Upper Canada’s first parliament. The Ontario Heritage Trust has assumed ownership of this portion of the site. The Trust will work with stakeholders – including the federal and Ontario governments, the City of Toronto and community groups – to develop options and strategies for the long-term preservation of the site.

Artifacts now lying underground mark the site of Ontario’s first parliament buildings. The brick buildings built specifically for the legislative assembly in the late 18th century were burnt to the ground by invading American troops during the War of 1812.

“We are delighted to assume the lead role in the preservation of this significant heritage site,” said The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “It is the birthplace of our systems of courts, land ownership and civil freedoms – democratic traditions that are the very measure of our strength as a province and as a society.”