Niagara District Court House - Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Trail Blaisers
N 43° 15.301 W 079° 04.313
17T E 656507 N 4790939
Quick Description: Building this courthouse was the inspiration of local Council in order to lock in the town's status as an important community in Niagara. It worked for a few decades.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 6/18/2019 6:18:17 AM
Waymark Code: WM10RTX
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
Views: 4

Long Description:
This is a national historic site and provincial heritage building. It speaks to an era in the mid-1800s when Niagara-on-the-Lake was a very important legislative town.

In 1978, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake designated the courthouse under the Ontario Heritage Act and, in 1980, the building was designated a National Historic Site. It is now home to the world-renowned Shaw Festival.

I think it is interesting that he motivation for such a grand building was one of local interests. According to The Ontario Heritage Trust webpage, (visit link) in 1841, the managerial functions of the justices of the Quarter Sessions of the Peace were taken over by elected district councils. The new councillors immediately began to complain about the small quarters and inconvenient location of the old Niagara courthouse. Municipal authorities – eager to consolidate its position as the judicial seat, and fearing that [nearby City of] St. Catharines with its strategic position on the Welland Canal would soon surpass their town – initiated the construction of a new courthouse. This project was part of a plan to maintain Niagara's [on-the-Lake's] position as the political centre of the district. Specifications for the building required space for a courthouse, offices, jail, town hall and market place. Regardless, in 1863, the seat of judicial power was moved to St. Catharines by the authorities at the time.
Link to Property in The Ontario Properties Database: [Web Link]

Building or Property Type: Civic or Government Building

County or Regional Municipality: Niagara

Visit Instructions:
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jonathanatpsu visited Niagara District Court House - Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario 8/18/2019 jonathanatpsu visited it