Nathan Phillips Square is a city square that forms the front (south) entrance to Toronto City Hall or 'New City Hall' at Queen Street West and Bay Street (its address is 100 Queen West). Nathan Phillips was mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962. The square opened in 1965. Like City Hall, the square was designed by Viljo Revell.
The square is paved with large concrete slabs. It features an ice rink/reflecting pool at the south end, a peace garden in the middle, and "Three-Way Piece No. 2" ("The Archer") by Henry Moore at the north end in front of City Hall. An elevated concrete walkway runs along the perimeter and allows access to the podium roof of city hall; budget limitations, however, now require that the walkway be closed for much of the year. At the southwest corner of the square, on Queen Street, is Oscar Nemon's statue of Sir Winston Churchill.
The rink/pool has been spanned by three concrete arches since it was built. In 1989 these were dedicated as Freedom Arches commemorating those who have fought to obtain or defend freedom. At the southern base of the central arch is a piece of the Berlin Wall. The square is the site of concerts, art displays, a weekly farmers' market, the winter festival and other public events, including demonstrations.
A design competition was launched in the start of October, 2006, soliciting proposals for a revitalization of the square from forty-eight local and international firms. On March 8, 2007, it was announced that the team led by PLANT Architect Inc. & Shore Tilbe Irwin + Partners (both of Toronto) had won the competition. The project, which is estimated to cost $40 million, will begin construction once sufficient funds have been raised; so far the City of Toronto has put aside $16 million for the square.
The design is based on the idea that Nathan Phillips Square has always acted as an agora, the ancient Athenian place of public and political exchange. The theme clearly defines the inner open space of theatre and square – a theatre for the city, and a square surrounded by a forested perimeter.
The design includes:
The climax of the 2004 film Resident Evil: Apocalypse was filmed at Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto City Hall. A helicopter, which used the square as a helipad, was flown in and the elevated concrete walkway was opened up for the film shoot.
It was also featured as the scene of an assassination attempt in the film The Sentinel.
St. John Ambulance Challenges the City of Toronto Full Day at Nathan Phillips Square to Kick off the St. John Ambulance Safety Challenge
Jul 17, 2007; TORONTO, ONTARIOCCNMatthews - July 17, 2007) - St. John Ambulance, Toronto Branch, a non profit organization that advocates for...
Canadians for Kyoto: Nation-Wide Rally for Kyoto to Take Place Sunday, March 11th Toronto Rally scheduled for 12 noon at Nathan Phillips Square with guest speakers and musicians
Feb 05, 2007; TORONTO, ONTARIOCCNMatthews - Feb. 2, 2007) - The Canadians for Kyoto Rally, an independent, volunteer, citizens' movement, wants...