London and Western Trusts
353, Richmond Street, London, City of, Ontario, N6A, Canada
London and Western Trusts
Province of Ontario Savings Office
353 Richmond Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The London and Western Trusts is located at 353 Richmond Street, on the west side of Richmond Street between King and York Streets, in downtown London. The two-storey bank building was constructed in circa 1920.
The property was designated, by the City of London, in 2000, for its historical and architectural value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P.-3315-157).
353 Richmond Street was home to London's first trust company, the London and Western Trusts. The Trust was organized by George Gibbons and others in 1896. George Gibbons served Canada as the chairman of the Canadian section of the International Waterways Commission and was also a prominent member of the Liberal Party. He was later knighted, Sir George Gibbons, for his many contributions to Canada.
In the 1930s, after decades of local control, the board expanded to include new directors, such as, former Prime Minister Arthur Meighen. During this time the London and Western Trusts also operated offices in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary. In the 1940s, London and Western Trusts was purchased by the Huron and Erie Company, a predecessor to what is now TD Canada Trust. After 1952, the building was purchased by the Province of Ontario and was used as a branch of the Ontario Savings and Loan Corporation.
The London and Western Trusts building is representative of the Neo-Classical Revival style of architecture. The building was constructed in circa 1920 using smooth ashlar stone with barely visible joints. Typical of the Neo-Classical style, the facade features a recessed portico, supported by four heavy Doric pilasters and a central entrance highlighted by rich mouldings. The frieze is unusual, as it has dentils that are characteristic of the Doric order, while the modillions belong to the Ionic and Corinthian orders. Inside the building, an ornately plastered ceiling, wood panelling and marble trim decorate the foyer.
Source: City of London By-law L.S.P.-3315-157.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the London and Western Trusts include its:
- “London and Western Trusts” carved in the architrave.
- smooth ashlar stone construction with barely visible joints
- recessed portico with four Doric pilasters
- central entrance with rich mouldings which form its architrave and lintel
- frieze including the Doric dentils and Ionic and Corinthian modillions
- simple window embrasures
- ornately plastered ceiling
- wood panelling and marble trim in the foyer
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
2000/01/01 to 2000/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of London
Planning and Development
300 Dufferin Avenue
Cross-Reference to Collection