Today was “Doors Open” in Toronto meaning that about 150 buildings were open to the public. I decided, therefore, to visit The Ontario Legislative Building, not too far from where I live.
Walking through Queen’s Park, I took a picture of the statue of King Edward VII seated on a horse. The equestrian statue, originally standing in Edward Park in Delhi, India, was “erected on the present site through the generous subscriptions of the citizens of the area” reads the plaque placed before it.
The Equestrian Statue of King Edward VII
A statue of Queen Victoria stands near the Legislative Building’s entrance where the public was admitted.
Her Majesty Queen Victoria /1819-1901/
Friendly, knowledgeable, and fluently bilingual guides wearing green T-shirts welcomed me. “If you have any questions, ask anyone in a green T-shirt,” a young brunette wearing glasses prompted cheerily. There were policemen guarding the premises, too.
When I asked this handsome man in uniform whether he’d let me photograph him, he said, “Take as many pictures as you need until you’re satisfied.”
Handsome policeman I
Handsome policeman II
The impression I got the moment I stepped inside the Legislative Building, designed by architect Richard Waite and built between 1886 and 1892, was one of magnificence and splendor.
Attention to detail is everywhere. The ceilings are very high (some with chandeliers), balustrades are carved from wood, and the building’s west wing (rebuilt in 1909 after a destructive fire) boasts of a marble floor displaying a delicate mosaic pattern reminiscent of mosaics I once saw in Modena, Italy.
Fine mosaic floor
One of the most impressive features of the Legislative Building is its stained glass ceiling.
Stained glass ceiling
Historical portraits depicting political personalities dating from the distant past to the present adorn the building’s walls.
“Doesn’t he look like Napoleon?” a visitor asked me as I snapped this shot.
“Yes,” I laughed, “he does!” realizing that this was probably what prompted me to select this portrait among all the others.
This colourful room is the one which the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, David Onley, uses for celebrations.
The room of the Lieutenant Governor
As I exited the room through the wooden door you see on the left, I saw this intriguing antique cabinet.
Antique furniture adjacent to the Lieutenant Governer’s room
The pièce de résistance, however, is the Legislative Chamber “with its richly carved details set in mahogany and Canadian sycamore.” This is the chamber in which Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) “debate and pass laws for the Province of Ontario.” (Source: www.ontla.on.ca)
The government’s seats
The Speaker’s chair
Chamber door detail
For more information about The Legislative Building, visit www.ontla.on.ca.