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Old Toronto Post Office / Old Bank of Canada National Historic Site of Canada

10 Toronto Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1958/11/03

View of the Old Toronto Post Office / Old Bank of Canada National Historic Site of Canada.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency
Façade
Detail view of the Old Toronto Post Office / Old Bank of Canada, showing one of four, engaged Ionic columns.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency
Detail
Detail view of the Old Toronto Post Office/Old Bank of Canada, showing a ground-floor window.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency
Detail

Other Name(s)

Old Toronto Post Office / Old Bank of Canada National Historic Site of Canada
Old Toronto Post Office / Old Bank of Canada
Ancien bureau de poste de Toronto / Ancienne Banque du Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1853/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/08/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Old Toronto Post Office/Old Bank of Canada is a mid-19th-century, three-storey, stone building constructed in the Greek Revival style. It is located on the west side of Toronto Street between King and Adelaide streets in downtown Toronto. The formal recognition consists of the building on the legal property on which it sat at the time of recognition.

Heritage Value

The Old Toronto Post Office/Old Bank of Canada was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1958 because it is a fine example of Greek Revival style architecture.

The building was designed by prominent Toronto architects Frederick Cumberland and William Storm, who were responsible for the design of several other mid-19th-century Toronto buildings in various revival styles.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1958; Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Plaque Text, 1987.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which contribute to the heritage value of the Old Toronto Post Office/Old Bank of Canada are:
- its adherence to the Greek Revival style, evident in the building’s proportions, rectangular massing, symmetry, detailing and stone-work;
- its three-storey arrangement, elegantly achieving the simulated effect of structural columns and pilasters carrying a structural entablature;
- the handsome Greek Revival details of its façade, including: four, engaged Ionic columns two storeys in height with spiral capitals; a heavy entablature masking the third storey; two flat pilasters articulating the ends of the façade; the fine, dentiled entablature running above the ground-floor window line; the second-storey window surrounds, with architraves, pilasters and entablatures; the fan window and curved consoles of the main entrance;
- its finely crafted ashlar masonry;
- the figures and shield from the Coat of Arms of Canada that cap the entablature and testify to the building’s original function as a federal post office;
- the urban nature of its siting, close-up to the street.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1958/11/03

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1856/01/01 to 1856/01/01
1869/01/01 to 1869/01/01
1902/01/01 to 1902/01/01
1937/01/01 to 1937/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building
Government
Post Office

Architect / Designer

Cumberland and Storm

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

795

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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