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The Princes’ Gates

31 Aug 2015
Image Credit: The Princes' Gates, ca. 1927, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 5795.
Architectural Credit: Chapman and Oxley
The eastern entrance to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds was built in 1927 to commemorate 60 years of Canadian Confederation. Originally named the Diamond Jubilee Gates, they were soon renamed to honour the visit of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII, and his brother Prince George, crowned King George VI after his brother’s abdication.

The Princes’ Gates were designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Chapman and Oxley, founded by architects Alfred Hirschfelder Chapman, president of the OAA 1929-1930, and James Morrow Oxley. The statues atop it were modelled by Charles Duncan McKenzie, a frequent collaborator on the decorative treatment of many Chapman and Oxley projects.

The monumental gateway is composed of a central triumphal arch, flanked on either side by a curved colonnade of nine columns representing the nine provinces that were members of the confederation the year the gates were built. Above the central archway and holding a single maple leaf is the Goddess of Winged Victory, flanked by allegorical figures representing progress, commerce, industry, science, and agriculture. The gates were completed in less than five months through the innovative use of cement and stone.

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