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Historic Dundas Town Hall is one of the longest serving municipal buildings in Canada

January 2021

The historic Dundas Town Hall in Dundas, Ontario, holds the unique distinction of being one of the oldest continuously serving municipal buildings in Canada. It’s served so long as a municipal building, almost 174 years, that it pre-dates Canadian Confederation itself.

Completed in July 1849 at a cost of £2,500, the exterior of the Roman Classic-style building has remained relatively unchanged, except for a small Italianate wing added later.

The centre-point of the structure is the central 4 sided cupola clock tower.

The town offices occupied the first floor, with the first Town Council meeting being held in the council chambers on 16 June 1849, almost two years after Dundas officially became a town, and when the population was around 1,925.

A gallery and a large room with a stage is on the second floor, and was used for public meetings and performances.

The basement had butcher stalls, farmers stands, the jail and Alfred Bennett’s Saloon.

A thorough interior renovation was undertaken in 1946, but the building still retains its heritage features to this day.

Dundas merged with the other municipalities in the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth (Hamilton, Ancaster, Flamborough, Stoney Creek, Dundas & Glanbrook Township) on 1 January 2001, forming the City of Hamilton. As such, the town hall no longer serves as a formal seat of government, but it’s still used to provide municipal services to the area residents.

Sources: https://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/en/plaques/dundas-town-hall, https://map.dundasmuseum.ca/listings/dundas-town-hall, http://dundasheritage.com/Town-Hall-Walking-Tour.pdf.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/historic-dundas-town-hall-is-one-of-the-longest-serving-municipal-buildings-in-canada/

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