Friday, November 1, 2013

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking hosted by

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.

October 2013 - Toronto ON

One of the little known secret historic places that you can have lunch is Osgoode Hall on Queen St. W. 
This historic site is the focus for legal activity in Ontario and has garnered attention for over 170 years. Osgoode Hall occupies six acres and was acquired by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1829. The William Osgoode the first Chief Justice of the province. Osgoode Hall withstood more than ten major restorations. The front facade maintained its originality and is basically unaltered to reflect the 1860 design.

Once through the iconic wrought iron gates and gardens, you enter through the main doors where you're greeted by Toronto police officers conducting security checks with an x-ray machine and metal detector. This is an operating courthouse that mainly hears appeals.

Once you've cleared security, you continue along a red hallway to an interesting display about the history of the iron gates that surround the grounds.
Like any historical building, Osgoode Hall has its myths. Part of its stately charm is the cast-iron fence that surrounds it and the unusual “kissing gates,” which mimic rural gateways designed to keep livestock from wandering. Long-standing tradition has it that the entrances were installed for just that purpose: to keep itinerant 19th-century cattle from gumming up the wheels of justice.

As you enter the dining room you are struck by the expansive heritage room lined with law texts on one side and lovely chandeliers from above. There are also  portraits of William Osgoode and his law companions gazing down on you.

We didn't take any photos in the room as photography is not allowed. This photo is from the Osgoode Hall website.

Most of the diners are lawyers dressed in their legal garb. Here in Canada the outfit is much the same for men and women - diners did not have their robe on. Female lawyers can wear a skirt or pants. Some wore the tabs some just had the winged collar shirtfront.

Winged Collar Shirtfront

The servers tend to be older, portly gentlemen with mustachios and greying hair, which all adds to the heritage atmosphere.

We all ordered the same meal, Wellington County Steak Frites - a flat iron steak, Yukon gold fries and herb butter, delicious!!!

After lunch we wandered around and snapped a few furtive photos.


  1. Wow - what an amazing building. I'm not sure which photo I like best. The gates are beautiful, that stained glass is stunning! I love the books in the dining room ... you can just picture someone in days past eating a hurried lunch while studying up on some obscure law before a trial.

  2. What an interesting building and dining experience. Love the photo of the skylights.

  3. We have been to Toronto a few times, but never here. What a fantastic building, thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. What a neat dining spot! Interesting menu items too. Thanks for sharing your unique experience.

  5. Great peek inside a place I've never been but now would like to! Thanks

  6. I visited Toronto years ago but not this building. We keep saying that we're going to have to go back

  7. Lunch looks delicious! Great photos, even the furtive ones! ;)

  8. What a great building and setting for a meal! Thanks for sharing. I bet that meal hit the spot...


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