Description of Historic Place
The Former Bank of Montreal overlooks a busy intersection at the western edge of the Hull sector’s central business district, in Gatineau. Executed in the Beaux-Arts style, the modestly scaled, one-and-a-half storey building has red brick walls that contrast with the white stone sculptured ornamentation. A flight of semicircular steps leads to the corner entrance flanked by doric columns. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Former Bank of Montreal is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Former Bank of Montreal is associated with the commercial development of Hull in the early 20th century. It was also representative of the steady growth enjoyed by the Bank of Montreal during the economically prosperous period immediately before the First World War. The bank is located just north of the business district of Hull's largest employer, the E.B. Eddy Company that provided the bank's main source of trade at the beginning of the 1900s.
Valued for its good aesthetics and Beaux-Arts design, the Former Bank of Montreal is a modestly scaled branch bank executed in a grand classical style favoured by the banking community during the early 20th century. The street façades exhibit the horizontality and sense of ordered space of the Beaux-Arts style that is balanced by distinctive Baroque detailing. Good functional design is evidenced in the open business area. The building is constructed of good materials that were new at the time, including concrete and cast or artificial stone.
The Former Bank of Montreal reinforces the commercial character of its streetscape setting in Hull’s central business district and commercial core and is familiar landmark to local residents, people working in the vicinity and pedestrians.
Sources: Bank of Montreal, 40 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec, Federal Heritage Character Statement 86-007; Former Bank of Montreal, 40 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec, Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 86-007.
The character-defining elements of the Former Bank of Montreal should be respected.
Its good Beaux-Arts design elements, good functional design, and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the one-and-a-half-storey massing;
- the exterior walls of red brick with pilasters;
- the classical vocabulary of white stone sculptured ornamentation that includes the entablature, the cartouches, the sub-cornice with coat of arms, and the sculpted frontispiece;
- the three large ground floor windows, and the smaller first floor windows;
- the flight of semicircular steps that lead to the corner entrance flanked by doric columns;
- the functional interior configuration with its open business area, and the concrete basement.
The manner in which the Former Bank of Montreal reinforces the commercial character of its streetscape setting of Hull’s central business district, and is a familiar landmark as evidenced by:
- its scale, design and materials that maintain a visual and physical relationship with the surrounding buildings, including Les Terrasses de la Chaudière, and complement the streetscape setting;
- its location at a busy intersection, and its design, which make it a familiar landmark within the area.