Bank of Upper Canada Building National Historic Site of Canada
252 Adelaide Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M5A, Canada
Links and documents
1827/01/01 to 1834/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Bank of Upper Canada building is an early 19th-century, two-and-a-half-storey, Neoclassical stone building. It is located on Adelaide Street in downtown Toronto. The formal recognition consists of the building on its property at the time of recognition.
The Bank of Upper Canada Building was designated a national historic site in 1977. The reasons for designation are: the role played by the Bank of Upper Canada in the development of Upper Canada and in the rise of Toronto as the commercial centre of the colony and the design of the building, reflecting the image of conservative opulence favoured by financial institutions of the time.
The heritage value of this place resides in its role in Canada's early banking history as reflected in its restrained classicism and enduring materials.
A portico designed by architect John G. Howard and added in 1844 contributes to the restrained classicism of the building.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada(HSMBC), Minute, November 1979; HSMBC, plaque text, 1984.
The key elements that relate to the heritage value of this site include:
-its rectangular massing and mansard roof;
-the organization of the original structure, with seven bays on the façade and four bays along the sides, creating a broad but compact mass;
-its stone exterior, with rusticated masonry on the foundation and smooth-dressed stonework on the upper storeys;
-its projecting three-bay entrance;
-its Neoclassical portico, consisting of: a raised podium; paired columns; a strongly defined entablature; and a second-storey balcony;
-the classical detailing of the entrance door, including: the stone arched frame; fluted pilasters on either side; the semi-rounded transom; rectangular sidelights, square-headed jamb; and simple moulded reveal.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection