Bank of Montreal
2004 Columbia Avenue, Rossland, British Columbia, Canada
Links and documents
1898/01/01 to 1899/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Bank of Montreal building, located on the northeast corner of Columbia Avenue and Washington Street in the center of downtown Rossland, is a large and impressive three-storey brick building built on a granite foundation. The building occupies all of the slightly sloping lot, measuring 30' by 120'. The words "Bank of Montreal" are carved into the building's cornerstone.
The Bank of Montreal building is valued as a landmark; its height and the fact that it has two street façades makes it the most prominent building in downtown Rossland.
Construction of the multi-use building was completed in 1899, making it a commercial hub for the City. It was home to the Bank of Montreal and also housed numerous other offices in the above-ground basement level in the front three quarters of the building, and on the second floor. The construction of such a noteworthy building in Rossland as the Bank of Montreal is symbolic of the confidence in the value and longevity of the Rossland gold mines felt by the business world at the turn of the last century. Given that five different banking institutions existed in Rossland at that time, the Bank of Montreal clearly wanted to create an impressive physical presence for itself in the booming mining center.
The Bank of Montreal building also has architectural value. Designed by the provincially well-known architect, Francis Rattenbury, the building is of cream-coloured brick with steel reinforcing beams. The steel beams and the foundation of locally quarried granite were "firsts" for construction in Rossland’s downtown.
The layout of the interior of the Bank of Montreal Building is valued because it remains the same as that of its original design. The Bank Room itself with the adjoining Manager's office is no longer in use but the vestibule, marble entrance stairs, large arched windows, woodwork and plaster ceiling details are original. The three granite stairway/well entries to basement offices and shops off Washington Street continue to be used today.
Source: City of Rossland
Key character-defining elements of the Bank of Montreal building include:
- location on a corner lot at the center of downtown Rossland
- height (60') including three storeys and the above-ground basement
- building footprint, including 30' frontage on Columbia Avenue and 120' frontage on Washington Street, occupying all of the lot
- granite corner stone on southwest corner bearing the words "Bank of Montreal" and the home survey monument for Rossland
- locally-quarried granite foundation and exterior steps
- brick exterior with belt courses and terra cotta friezes
- arched windows and entrances
- surviving elements of original multipurpose design by architect Frances Rattenbury, such as exterior entrances and interior layout
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Rossland
Cross-Reference to Collection