Description of Historic Place
The J. Allyn Taylor Building is located at 267 Dundas Street, on the southwest corner of Wellington and Dundas Streets, in the downtown area of the City of London. The five-storey red-brick and cut stone building was constructed in 1929.
The property was designated, by the City of London, in 2006, for its historic or contextual value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 3388-8).
The J. Allyn Taylor Building supports the scale and massing pattern of London's downtown streetscape. Its street level design, without storefront windows, displays a detail and quality in execution that is not often achieved in buildings of the 20th century.
The J. Allyn Taylor Building was constructed, in 1928, for use by the Bank of Toronto. In addition to its association with banking, the building was also associated with other business sectors, housing offices for real estate, insurance, investment companies and lawyers. Over the course of seventy years, the Bank of Toronto merged with other large banks, and became Toronto-Dominion, and eventually TD Bank.
In 2001, TD Bank merged with Canada Trust, and the J. Allyn Taylor building was declared surplus. TD Canada Trust sold the building to the City of London for $1.00 and it was named after the former president of Canada Trust, J. Allyn Taylor. J. Allyn Taylor was considered by many to have been the 'father' of the City of London, and was nicknamed, “Mr. London”. A leader in business, Taylor was also a philanthropist and community activist. His contributions to the City of London were substantial. Taylor was at one time the chancellor of the University of Western Ontario and served on the boards of the former University Hospital, London YM-YWCA, London Community Foundation and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
The J. Allyn Taylor Building is an impressive example of a Renaissance style banking institution. Though the building was constructed in the 1920s, it is evident that the inspiration came from bank building design from the early 19th century. The J. Allyn Taylor Building is an imposing and regal structure that is well-proportioned and symmetrical in design. As a corner building, the elevations facing onto Wellington and Dundas Streets are most significant, and both elevations are divided vertically. Typical of the Renaissance style, the ground floor is stone faced, and the three intermediate floors and attic are surmounted by an entablature and parapet. The attic or fifth storey, below the cornice, is placed above a stone string course and features stone medallions set in brickwork between each window. The medallions add a decorative flair to the building and also emphasize the prominence of the top storey. Other noteworthy elements of the J. Allyn Taylor Building include quoins on the northeast, northwest and southeast corners and the voussoirs and keystones which are situated above the first storey windows.
Source: City of London, By-law L.S.P. – 3388-8.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the J. Allyn Taylor Building include its:
- vertical division of the Dundas and Wellington Street elevations
- red-brick and cut stone construction
- first-storey smooth ashlar stone construction
- first-storey recessed horizontal joints
- classical proportions and symmetrical design
- corner quoins
- arched voussoirs and keystones above windows and doors on first-storey
- projecting entablatures on carved stone console brackets above the northeast and northwest corner entrances and second-storey windows
- sills on the first, second and third-storey windows
- entablature and parapet which surmounts the attic storey
- carved stone medallions set in brickwork between the windows in the attic
- entablature and parapet which tops the building
- scale, which is supportive of the downtown streetscape
- street-level design features, which creates an area of interest and a focal point