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Monday, 12 September 2016

Our Apprentice in Canada - The Sir John A. Macdonald Building

The Bank of Montreal building, which is now called the Sr. John A. Macdonald building, stood out to me instantly. Amongst the building works and busy main road, lies this magnificent and unusual former bank building.

The doric columns are flattened, almost bas-relief work, and the carvings depict industrial images, which I found very unusual. I later found out that the choice in design was heavily influenced by the time the building was designed. During the 1930’s Canada was going through the Great Canadian Depression, so banks like this one wanted to appeal to the regular working man in an attempt to draw them back into their buildings and back on their books.

The grand entrance and regal proportions add a little bit of Art Deco into this otherwise Gothic revival dominant city. The coat of arms of the original Bank of Montreal depicts the shield supported by two native Canadians and a beaver resting on the top. The motto carved is 'Concordia Salus'. which is translates as, 'Prosperity through Harmony'.

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