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Placement Posts - Marion with Precinct Properties

I am so fortunate to have the chance to explore my love of art history and architecture during my placement in the Precinct Properties Branch. As part of their mandate, the team in Precinct Properties oversees the heritage conservation of the Legislative Building. This is a challenging task given the rich architectural and cultural history of the building and its continued use as the seat of Ontario’s government.

Over the past few weeks, I have been researching the history of the wood carvings in the Legislative Chamber. These beautiful carvings were crafted by William McCormack and his assistants in the Art Nouveau style between 1891-1893. This research has taken me deep into Ontario’s newspaper archives, collecting first-hand reports on these wood carvings that were written by Ontarians at the turn of the century. I have also learned a great deal by interviewing Queen’s Park staff who kindly took the time to share their expertise on these carvings and their significance to the Chamber.

William McCormack wrote in 1928 “there’s something about wood; you get ideas from it. It’s alive”. This principle holds true for the carvings in the Chamber, which continue to evolve with the addition of new carvings to mark the Millennium, and a current call for submissions from Ontario-based Indigenous wood artists to incorporate Indigenous artwork into the Chamber. See here for more information:

I have truly enjoyed working on this project and I am so appreciative of my warm welcome to the Precinct Properties Branch!

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