The project won first prize in a national competition in 1982 and was completed in the winter of 1986. In 1990 it received the Governor General's Award for Architecture.
The brief provided for municipal offices and a Council chamber for a rapidly expanding city 16 kilometres due west of Toronto. In addition to the 350,000 square feet of municipal accommodation, the brief also included many social facilities - a day-care centre, restaurant, chapel, public gardens, a municipal art gallery and a public underground garage for 1,000 cars.
The building attempts to represent the supposedly contradictory idea of a democratic monument. On the one hand the classical forms and consistent external use of masonry emphasises the durable nature of public buildings in the service of local government. On the other hand the large and complex programme has been represented through a series of identifiable buildings thereby giving human scale and a sense of identity to a very large institution.
The exterior cladding is brick with stone banding and sills. All the inclined roofs are faced in copper sheet with raised seams. In contrast to this sober exterior the public interiors are finished in marble, granite and a variety of fine wood veneers. The project was completed on schedule and within the budget of $70 million.
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