Newmarket's Old Town Hall (also known as the Newmarket Town Hall and Market Building) was built in 1883 in the original downtown core of Newmarket. This two-storey brick building was designed in the Italianate style with a projecting frontispiece, a crested central square bell-tower, tall narrow windows and a heavily bracketed cornice.
In 1999, the Old Town Hall was designated for its historical and architectural significance by the Town.
Newmarket's Old Town Hall was designed by the architectural firm, Mallory and Sons. They chose an Italianate style to illustrate the building's significance to the community. The architects chose to give the building clean lines, and a local cream coloured buff brick by local building, Walter Page. Other characteristics of an Italianate design feature a rectangular floor plan, a low-pitched hip roof, wide eaves supported by decorative wooden brackets along the cornice, a square bell-tower with iron cresting and a projecting frontispiece with gable.
Old Town Hall played a pivotal role in Newmarket’s early days. It housed a farmer's market on the first floor and a meeting room/auditorium on the second floor. Newmarket's first farmers' market was held in 1871 in a small shed on a dirt floor located in the Market Square located to the north of the present building. Over time, the market grew larger and larger. As result, Mayor William Cane advocated for a modern building to accommodate the farmers' market. The Old Town Hall was built and was one of the first buildings paid for by the community through a loan. Newmarket's Old Town Hall was official opened on Dominion Day (1883) - now Canada Day.
As the Farmers' Market business increased in 1899 with the opening of the radial line (electric rail) that connected Toronto to Newmarket, more goods were assembled and distributed at a low cost to other markets. When the radial line ceased operation in the early 1930's the Farmers' Market continued for another decade until wartime shortages forces its closure.
Prominence in Newmarket
Newmarket's Old Town Hall served as a political and administrative centre for the Town until the 1950s. The Town's police department also moved into the vacant market area until the 1970s.
From 1975 to 1980, the meeting hall and auditorium was converted into a municipal courtroom.