In 2015, Infrastructure Ontario (IO), on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General, led a complex excavation and archaeological dig of a new Toronto courthouse site, just steps from City Hall.

The excavation revealed tens of thousands of artifacts from the neighbourhood once known as St. John's Ward, or “the Ward”.  As one of Toronto's earliest immigrant and migrant settlements, the Ward in the 19th century was a place of refuge and bustling activity for early settlers of diverse backgrounds arriving to Toronto.

Due to the artifact collection's considerable size, variety, and degree of preservation, the archaeological assessment of the site has provided an unprecedented level of insight into Toronto's early multicultural history.

As part of the heritage interpretation efforts currently underway, IO and the City of Toronto developed a unique partnership to create opportunities to share the artifacts and their stories in four display cases at City Hall. Over the next several years, IO and the City will be showcasing a rotating display of these artifacts in the City Hall rotunda to help share the story of Toronto's multicultural past.

Thumbnail - Archaeology in the City  Archaeology in the City  PNG | PDF

Thumbnail - Archaeology in the Ward  Archaeology in the Ward  PNG | PDF 

Thumbnail - Black History in the Ward  Black History in the Ward  PNG | PDF

Thumbnail - British Methodist Episcopal Church  British Methodist Episcopal Church  PNG | PDF


Free and publicly accessible, located by the elevators to the east and west towers on the main floor.

This exhibit is presented in partnership between Infrastructure Ontario, on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the City of Toronto.

IO LogoCity of Toronto logo

This exhibit shares a selection of the artifacts and stories unearthed in the archaeological assessment of the new Toronto courthouse site on Armoury Street, originally part of The Ward and just steps from City Hall.
With thanks to the New Toronto Courthouse Heritage Interpretation Working Group, Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants, ERA Architects.