Western Trust Building
Guaranty Trust Building
2020 - 11th Avenue
Links and documents
1911/01/01 to 1912/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
2020 11th Avenue is a Municipal Heritage Property located in downtown Regina. The property features a five-storey commercial building faced with stone on the main level and brick on the upper levels, known as the Western Trust / Guaranty Trust Building, which was constructed in 1911-1912.
The heritage value of the property resides in its association with the Regina architect, Neil R. Darrach. Darrach came to Regina from St. Thomas, Ontario in 1911 and entered into a short-lived partnership with Maurice W. Sharon, who later became Saskatchewan’s provincial architect. The Western Trust Company building was Darrach’s first design in Regina. Over the next few years Darrach would design other significant Regina buildings including the Leader Building, Westminster Presbyterian (later United) Church, and the Donahue Block. In spite of the downturn in the economy during the First World War, Darrach continued in private practice in Regina until 1917 when he returned to Ontario.
The heritage value of the property also resides in its architectural style. Constructed in 1911-1912 by the Parsons Construction and Engineering Company of Regina, the building’s steel frame construction, prominent vertical corner piers, central recessed window bays, and vertical orientation, is representative of the Chicago School. The exterior decoration of the building's upper four floors features a rare local example of Italianate influences, such as the brick facing and window surrounds of rusticated stonework. The pronounced applied-metal cornice along the south and east sides is supported by modillions. Although the elaborate carvings of the ground floor front façade have disappeared, much of the original upper floor façade remains intact.
The heritage value of the property also resides in its status as one of only three surviving and largely intact pre-War commercial buildings which comprised “Bankers’ Row.” Many financial institutions were concentrated along or adjacent to 11th Avenue during the first two decades of the last century. The Western Trust Building contributed significantly to the recognition of 11th Avenue as Regina's main commercial street during the first half of the twenteith century. Western Trust continued to occupy this building until 1960 at which time the company became the Guaranty Trust Company of Canada. This company became Central Guaranty Trust by 1989 and continued at this location until 1993.
The heritage value also resides in the association of the property with Regina’s first fire hall (1888) and town hall (1886). Amongst the first public buildings erected in Regina, these structures served the community until larger facilities were built elsewhere in the community just after the turn of the last century. These first public buildings were subsequently torn down to make way for commercial buildings.
City of Regina Bylaw No.10015.
The heritage value of 2020-11th Avenue lies in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements which recognize the association with the Regina architect, Neil R. Darrach, including the prominent vertical corner piers and recessed central window bays;
-those elements which recognize that the property features a rare local example of Italianate influences, such as the brick facing and window surrounds of rusticated stonework and the pronounced applied-metal cornice along the south and east sides supported by modillions, superimposed on a Chicago School framework;
-those elements which speak to its association with pre-World War I banking in Regina, including its location on its original site.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1912/01/01 to 1960/12/31
1960/01/01 to 1993/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
Architect / Designer
Neil R. Darrach
Parsons Construction and Engineering Co.
Location of Supporting Documentation
Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive, Regina
File: MHP 1933
Cross-Reference to Collection