The Law Society of Upper Canada offers visitors a number of historical displays at Osgoode Hall and online.
Osgoode Hall, Mezzanine Level
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Fact or fiction? Deciphering the fence at Osgoode Hall
Osgoode Hall's fence is one of its most recognizable features. Today, it stands as one of the few remaining ornamental iron fences - not only in Toronto, but also in Canada.
The fence's gates are the stuff of Toronto urban legend: were they really built to keep cows from munching the manicured lawn of Osgoode Hall?
This exhibit, more than three years in the making, features images from all over the world. Most are from Toronto, including intriguing images of the city in the 19th century, but there are also others from Italy, the UK, Denmark, and the south of France.
Learn about the difference between cast iron and wrought iron, and:
- how cast iron was the plastic of the 19th century,
- how kissing gates (the proper term for the Law Society's gates) work,
- how our use - and therefore our perception - of fences has changed over time, and
- how the fence may have saved the grounds around Osgoode Hall.
Judge for yourself whether the cow gates were really meant for cows…
Visit our Virtual Museum to access a variety of online exhibitions and short historical "capsules." Topics include Osgoode Hall and its neighbouhood, the history of women in the legal profession, and biographical portraits.