City Hall Offered to the Government of the Province of Canada, if Kingston Could Remained the Capital

1843
Kingston City Hall and the Market Battery, 1857. Source: Queen's University Archives, William Sawyer fonds.Pinterest
Kingston City Hall and the Market Battery, 1857. Source: Queen's University Archives, William Sawyer fonds.

The city council offers -- to no avail -- their new city hall for use as a parliament building to the Canadian parliament in a desperate bid to retain Kingston as the capital city of the United Province of Canada East & Canada West. The architectural requirements for the building, including a pair of large assembly rooms to function as a town hall (now Memorial Hall) and merchants' exchange (now Ontario Hall), were set as early as July 6, 1842, well before the parliamentary Assembly officially questioned the merits of  Kingston as the capital on October 5, 1842. There is no indication of a conspiracy in the drawings and council minutes to design the rooms to house a bicameral parliament, while designating them in public as a pair of assembly rooms for the citizens of Kingston. Parliament is meeting in the general hospital, which has been modified for its temporary use, and land is reserved for constructing a permanent parliament building on what is now City Park. Even if the main building was planned as a parliament building, the attached market wing (which consistently is drawn and discussed in terms of a local market) would have been a questionable asset to the legislators of Canada East and Canada West in terms of smells, noise and the taking up of the grounds for horses and wagons.