Ever wonder why Parliament Street is nowhere close to Queen's Park? The reason is that Queen's Park is actually Ontario's third parliament building. The second was located where Roy Thomson Hall is today. And the first? It was located at the southwest corner of Parliament and Front Streets. Today the site is occupied by a car wash and a Porsche dealership. Plans are now underway that will hopefully finally properly acknowledge the important historical nature of this location. The First Parliament played a major part in the War of 1812 in which the British ultimately defeated the Americans. But not without a price as the First Parliament was burned to the ground in 1813. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the battle in 2013 the city and province are looking to redevelop the site into a library and interpretation centre. The plan was devised by architect and local resident J. Michael Kirkland along with the support of many stakeholders. The one snag with the plan is land ownership. The Porsche site belongs to the province but negotiations with the owners of the car wash have gone nowhere for 15 years. Perhaps its time for expropriation?

First Parliament site rendering in Toronto by J. Michael KirklandProject rendering for First Parliament site

More can be found here.