Recently, we learned the Corporation of Hamilton intends remove the fountain in front of the City Hall & Arts Centre. A decision has not yet been made regarding what, if anything, will replace the fountain but it seems to me this, perhaps, is an opportunity to gather up courage and embrace change.
Whatever the reasons for making the change, we should sieze the chance to create something interactive or startling (my favourite) or useful even. For example, there are often concerts on the steps of City Hall and audiences are forced to perch awkwardly on the fountain's edge to view the performance. If it's windy, they get wet.
A host of events take place in Nathan Phillip Square in front of Toronto City Hall: art exhibitions, live music, restaurant promotions and more. Consider, also, the Fourth Plinth in the north-west corner of London's Trafalgar Square, which has been used to show specially commissioned artworks. Think of the possibilities for City Hall once we no longer have to navigate the pond.
As for the "original design by Will Onions" argument, the building itself has already been the subject of renovations and additions - the west entrance portico being the prime example. Changing the fountain will not undermine Mr. Onions's concept any more than I.M. Pei's addition of the pyramid downgraded The Louvre.