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Molson's (Toronto Dominion) Bank

Calgary

Other Names:
Molson's Bank
Molson's Toronto Dominion Bank
Toronto Dominion Bank (Molsons)

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Molson's (Toronto Dominion) Bank is a three-storey, stone-clad building situated on portions of two lots along Calgary's historic Stephen Avenue Mall. The 1911 building embodies the Beaux-Arts architectural style in its ornate exterior decoration including fluted columns crowned by Ionic capitals, an elaborate cornice with dentils, classical sculptural elements, and a pedimented front entrance.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Molson's (Toronto Dominion) Bank lies in its impressive representation of early twentieth century bank architecture in Alberta.

Between 1905 and 1914, Alberta's population and economy grew rapidly. In an effort to capitalize on the commercial and financial possibilities of the burgeoning West, central Canadian banks began establishing branches throughout the Prairies. In 1911, the Molson's Bank constructed a branch in Calgary. Opened in 1912, the bank building is an impressive embodiment of the Beaux-Arts architectural style. Elements of this ornate style include the building's fluted columns crowned by Ionic columns, elaborate cornice with dentils, pediments over windows and doors, and sculptural embellishments. These decorative features, along with the robust steel framing and stone-cladding of the building, impart the bank with a classical air of strength and permanence - desirable qualities for any financial institution. The Molson's (Toronto Dominion) Bank was the finest branch erected by the Molson Bank in Alberta and an excellent example of the kind of architecture employed by financial institutions of the time to project an image of solidity and balance. The building's success as an architectural statement of financial virtues and as a response to the practical demands of branch banking is reflected in decades of later use by such financial institutions as the Bank of Montreal and the Toronto Bank (later the Toronto-Dominion Bank). Situated along Calgary's historic Stephen Avenue Mall, the Molson's (Toronto Dominion) Bank is an integral dimension of the historic charm of one of Alberta's premier early twentieth century commercial streetscapes.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 880)


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Molson's (Toronto Dominion) Bank include such features as:
- limestone facade with granite base;
- window surrounds;
- four fluted columns crowned with Ionic capitals;
- pediments over side entrance, main entrance, and side window of front elevation;
- elaborate cornice with dentils;
- sculptural elements, including decorative elements on cornice and on pediments;
- main entrance with transom topped by pediment;
- Molson's Bank crest and engraved motto "Industria et Spe".


Location



Street Address: 114 - 8 Avenue SW
Community: Calgary
Boundaries: Portion of Lot 27 and and all of Lot 28, Block 50, Plan A
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5
1
24
16
9 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
A
A
50
50
28
27 (ptn.)



Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.045836 -114.063916 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1979/12/20

Historical Information

Built: 1911 to 1911
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Bank or Stock Exchange
Commerce / Commercial Services : Bank or Stock Exchange
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

There is no significant connection between the Molson's Bank and important people or events in Alberta's history. This particular branch, however, was one of the Molson's banks important urban branches, and was designed accordingly. This bank is an integral part of Calgary's historic 8th Avenue Mall, which is one of the last intact architectural streetscapes in Alberta dating from the early years of this century.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

The Molson's Bank is designed in the Beaux-Arts style. It features fluted Ionic columns, pedimented entrances and an elaborate cornice with dentils. It is made of steel, brick and stone and is the best example of a Molson's bank in Alberta.

(Site Information Summary)


Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0557
Designation File: DES 0880
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 19643
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Des. 880)
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