Nathan Phillips Square is an urban plaza that forms the forecourt to Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, at the intersection of Queen Street West and Bay Street, and named for Nathan Phillips, mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962. The square opened in 1965, and, as with the City Hall, the square was designed by architect Viljo Revell. The square is the site of concerts, art displays, a weekly farmers' market, the winter festival of lights, and other public events, including demonstrations.
The area currently occupied by the square was part of the Ward and was a major immigrant reception area during the first half of the twentieth century characterized by poverty during the late 1800's and early 1900's, with Black families settling on the site followed by the large wave of Jewish immigrants from Eastern European during this period. From 1910's leading up to World War II, the immigrant neighborhood was gradually settled and developed by the Chinese immigrants into Toronto's first Chinatown.