Merchants Bank of Canada

This Classical Revival structure was designed by the architectural firm Taylor, Hogle and Davis and built by former mayor Charles May in 1906 at a cost of $45,000. A brick building with grey sandstone front and trimmings, the Merchants Bank introduced what the Edmonton Bulletin called an "unusual, but not unpleasant combination of design" to Jasper Avenue, referring to the Greek Ionic pillars and pediment on the second and third storeys.

Accommodating a legal firm in the second floor office apartments and the divisional headquarters of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway on the third floor, the building distinguished itself with opulent bankng space on the main level. The manager's office sat behind a panelled wall of cherry wood, and an L-shaped partition of cherry wood housed the wickets framed with brass lattice-work railings. The fittings were plate-glass, brass, and cherry wood; the marble floor was enclosed by a dark-marble border; and the high-transomed windows opened for ventilation.

The Merchants Bank opened its first Edmonton branch the same year the Klondike gold rush brought prospectors to town in 1898, a full seven years after the Imperial bank began operating as the first financial institution in town. Originally housed in the Edmonton Bulletin building, the Merchants Bank moved into this building eight years later; by 1910 it made additions to the building in the back and operated two other branches. Its success was short-lived- the Bank of Montreal absorbed the Merchants Bank in 1921. Two years following, the Bank of Nova Scotia purchased this building and operated its main branch here until demolishing it in 1956 to make way for its own more modern banking office.

Structure Details

Address 10050 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5J 1V7
Neighborhood Downtown
Time Period Urban Growth: 1905-1913
Year Built 1906
Type Commercial
Designation Status Demolished
Architect(s) Taylor, Hogle and Davis
Architectural Style
Character Defining Elements Brick structure , Cornice , Dentil , Flat roof , Giant columns , Pediment , Pilaster , Rectangular footprint , Rusticated stone , Three storeys or more

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