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Former Bank of Montreal


Other Names:
Stevens Jewellers

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The two-storey Bank of Montreal has a flat roof, brick cladding, and large cast stone pilasters on either side of the recessed front entrance. Two cast stone stringcourses form continuous lintels and sills for the second storey windows on the front and side façades. It is located on two lots on a corner of 50th Avenue, formerly Railway Avenue West, the main commercial street in the downtown core of Olds.

Heritage Value
The Bank of Montreal building is significant for is association with the theme of post-war/oil boom development in Olds, and for its modern design.
Significant for is association with the theme of post-war/oil boom development in Olds, the Bank of Montreal building is representative of the building boom caused by a population increase due to the return of soldiers at the end of World War II and the economic boom created by the discovery of oil in Alberta. This modern building replaced the former bank building constructed by the Merchants Bank of Canada in 1904. The original building was taken over by the Bank of Montreal in 1922 when the two organizations merged. In 1948, tenders were awarded to the Edmonton-based firm E.H. Whitham Ltd. for demolition of the old building and construction of this new modern building. During the demolition and subsequent construction, the Bank of Montreal occupied the newly built O.R. Hedges building at 5010 51st Street. Excavation for the new Bank of Montreal began in June of 1948 and construction was completed early in 1949. The modern Bank of Montreal building cost $58,000 and was designed to provide office space on the first floor and residential accommodation on the second.
The modern commercial design of the Bank of Montreal building contributes to its heritage value. The modern style was particularly popular after the Second World War and emphasized a simplification and streamlining of design, the use of new building materials, and the elimination of ornament. This building’s modern design is evident in the basic rectangular plan, the simple lines, and the modern materials used in the bank’s construction, including the simple cast concrete pilasters at the front entrance. This building’s large massing is emphasized by the brick and concrete building materials and relatively small window openings.

Character-Defining Elements
The character defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of the 1948/1949 two-storey Bank of Montreal include:

• The flat roof

• The running bond brick cladding

• The cast stone stringcourse forming a continuous, shared lintel for all second-storey windows on the front and side façades

• The cast stone sills on the main floor windows

• The large cast stone pilasters to either side of the recessed main entrance

• The seven light fixtures on the second-storey, one between each window opening on the front and side façades

• The concrete foundation

• The pattern, style and construction of all original windows and door openings


Street Address: 5018 - 50 Avenue
Community: Olds
Boundaries: Portion of Lots 1 and 2, Block 4, Plan 868E
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
1, 2

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.79137000 -114.105850 GPS NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2010/10/12

Historical Information

Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Bank or Stock Exchange
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Residence : Single Dwelling

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0308
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Town of Olds, Community Services, 4512 - 46 Street, Olds, AB T4H 1R5 (File: COM - 00 - 6 - 05)
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