Victoria Hall was erected during the years 1862-64 following a period of heated controversy which began in 1859 with plans to replace the then existing East Ward Market Hall with a more grandiose building.
The use of this site as an outdoor market was established back in 1832 when the local government was presented by the Honourable Charles Jones with a parcel of land running from the King’s Highway (King Street) down to the River St. Lawrence. This land, which now comprises East and West Market Streets and the property in between, served in this capacity as a market area for subsequent years. A square-shaped frame building was built on the middle of the side prior to 1852 to house the indoor butcher’s stalls.
The first recorded use of the concert hall on the second floor was on October 8, 1864 with a concert by Madam A. Bishop. The first floor offices were rented to the Post Office and they operated from this building for the next twenty years until 1884. In the 1880’s it was decided to convert the main block of the building for the town offices. These changes were designed by Brockville architect, O. E. Liston.
In 1904 two floors were added to the one-storey market in the rear.
The detailed tower above is placed centrally above the front entrance and is octagonal in shape with a domed top supported by eight columns. The tower is open between these columns and contains a working clock and bell. There are four clock faces included in the design of the tower dome. Two stone chimneys of pleasant design flank the tower at the east and west end of the roof.
Each corner of this main block is emphasized by the use of smooth stone projections with quoins employed on the second floor. Each floor level is shown by a narrow band of smooth stone blocks. Each of the tall window openings is outlined with stone blocks of alternate widths with a prominent keystone at the centre of the semi-circular top.
The style of the main block might be termed Italianate and its simple massing, embellished with rich detailing would make it a noteworthy structure on any Canadian streets.