When it became clear that the first municipal offices could no longer accommodate the burgeoning contingent of North York civil servants, a five-acre site was purchased on the west side of Yonge Street. The first section of the second municipal building at 5000 Yonge was ready for occupancy on March 10, 1956. Designed by Sproatt and Rolph on Modern Georgian lines, the original structure was expanded several times to make room for new departments, such as Data Processing, and offices for the members of the Board of Control.

Photograph of large brick building with grass in foreground.
North York’s second municipal offices at 5000 Yonge Street
[ca. 1964]
Series 249, File 356, Item 49


On January 1, 1967, the Township of North York became the Borough of North York. This happened following the amalgamation of 13 area municipalities in Metropolitan Toronto down to six, including the City of Toronto, and the boroughs of North York, Scarborough, East York, York, and Etobicoke. The title of the head of council was changed from reeve to mayor, and the first mayor of the Borough of North York was Jim Service.


3 men holding up a flag. Flag says North York.
North York celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 13, 1972. The occasion was marked by the creation of a new insignia consisting of 14 golden spheres arranged in a circle around n and y. The 14 circles represented the 14 wards of the borough.
Series 1745, File 47, Item 75


By the 1970s, the North York civil service had once again outgrown the space in their offices. This resulted in the construction of the third municipal building, which opened on April 3, 1978. On February 14, 1979, North York graduated from borough to city. In a happy coincidence with Valentine’s Day, council adopted the new motto “The City with Heart.” The new City Hall and offices were located in the North York Civic Centre, which by the mid-1980s would comprise civic offices, Mel Lastman Square, the North York Central Library, Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre, and North York Memorial Community Hall – all on the west side of Yonge at Park Home Avenue. In support of the vision of a new downtown in North York, the North York Centre subway station opened in 1987, providing easy access to the new commercial centre.


2 men pointing to a street sign which reads Welcome to the City of North York population 563 000 the city with heart
Mayor Mel Lastman and new The City with Heart sign
February 1979
Series 1745, File 57, Item 1


Black and white view of large building with snowy roadway in foreground.
North York’s third municipal building at the North York Centre
[ca. 1979]
Series 1745, File 2, Item 6
Colour view of man in suit standing in front of microphone with flags and brick wall behind him.
Prince Philip at the North York Civic Centre on the occasion of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards
March 14, 1989
Series 1745, File 352, Item 1
Colour view of three seated men. On the brick wall behind the men are a seal and flags.
Downsview MPP Laureano Leone, Mayor Mel Lastman and Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander at the North York Civic Centre
March 14, 1989
Series 1745, File 352, Item 3
Colour view looking down a four lane urban street with large buildings on either side.
Yonge Street, looking north from North York Boulevard
[ca. 1990]
Series 1465, File 750, Item 17
Colour picture of an open air square filled with people. Also visible is a stage, covered tent and small hot air balloon.
Celebration at Mel Lastman Square
[ca. 2001]
Series 1465, File 97, Item 15
Group portrait of two women and three men. One woman holds a plaque and the other holds a cheque.
Yasintha Vivekanandarajah, winner of the North York Community Scholarship Award, North York Civic Centre.  Councillors Peter Le Preti (left) and Paul Sutherland (right) join Ms. Vivekanandarajah and her family.
May 8, 2002
Series 2311, File 1437, Item 8
Colour image of two men holding a framed poster.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong and performer and composer Hameed Shaqq at Black History Month poster presentation, North York Civic Centre council chambers
February 17, 2004
Series 2311, File 1755, Item 31