Osgoode Hall’s 50-year-old crabapple trees are standing in this year for High Park’s hundreds of cherry trees. Here, in the heart of downtown, you can wander the grounds without hordes of people trying to snap instagram pictures as they do in the Park. A bonus – Osgoode Hall is open to visitors and it’s next door to TORONTO’s new Peace Garden.
“The buds start to appear in April, and they’re usually in peak bloom by the first week of May,” says ANNE LAW, an on-staff horticulturalist at the Law Society of Upper Canada. “The flower petals fall at the same time, leaving a thick carpet of pink along the lawn and the sidewalk,” says Law. “But the effort it takes to clean up is worth it. The flowers are just so beautiful.” – from the Spring/2016 issue of Precedent Magazine
Osgoode Hall, built in 1829, is next door to New City Hall on Queen Street West at University Avenue. The Queen streetcar stops outside the gate.
A Victorian-era iron fence encircles OSGOODE HALL and 5 acres of lawns on Queen Street West at University Avenue. The gardens within are among the most tranquil in TORONTO’s city centre, an ideal place for wedding photography, and home to several inner city families of black squirrels.
Osgoode’s distinctive iron gates are narrow and restrictive. Myth has it that they were designed to keep livestock from wandering the grounds when the neighbourhood was more rural than urban. In the 1950’s students tried to push a cow through the gates but they failed.
The building itself is home to the Law Society of Upper Canada. Built between 1829 and 1832, it was named after William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of Upper Canada (now Ontario), and contains two libraries – the Great Library of the Law Society, and a smaller one for judges. Behind the Great Library, with its etched glass windows, is the American Room with its spiral staircase.
Osgoode Hall is connected to the Toronto Courthouse on University Avenue by a tunnel. <PHOTO ABOVE – Osgoode Hall, 1856, albumen>