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Visiting the 1911 Bank of Toronto Building, The Junction, Toronto, Ontario: Classical Revival Style by Eustace Bird

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Provincial flag of Ontario

 Looking east down Dundas Street West at its intersection with Keele Street in the heart of the Junction neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Looking east down Dundas Street West at its intersection with Keele Street in the heart of the Junction neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

An entrance graced with Tuscan columns, pilasters and a balustrade

The work of architect Eustace Bird (1875-1950)(1), the former Bank of Toronto building is a pleasing example of a commercial building executed in Classical Revival style.

When this bank structure was built in 1911, the Toronto, Ontario suburb of West Toronto Junction had recently been incorporated into the City of Toronto, and was undergoing a period of rapid growth. This bank building, situated at Dundas Street West's intersection with Keele Street, was thus well placed to serve local business at a prime site.

The Junction and its local economy later went through a period of retrenchment and the fine building passed out of the bank's use (2). One can thus see in this building something of the history of a suburb which was once expanding rapidly, the growth of which showed definite limits.

Features of the building include Tuscan columns at the entrance situated at the rounded junction of Dundas and Keele; these columns are complemented by pilasters. Above the entrance is a prominent balustrade, giving the doorway an especially ornate appearance, with stone facing and window surrounds also made of stone.

The structure rises to three storeys; at the first storey a cornice approximately continues the lines of the balustrade above the doorway. Another cornice — this time on a larger scale — also occurs at the roof level of the third storey.

As well as the main photo, above, which shows some of the building's ornate features to good effect, I have also supplied, below, a photo of dating from 1923.

The former Bank of Toronto building at The Junction is located at 2854 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario. It is situated opposite the Campbell Block: another heritage building located at the intersection of Dundas and Keele. the Romanesque style of which stands in contrast with the former Bank of Toronto building's Classical Revival appearance.

January 30, 2021

Notes

(1) Architect Bird was with the partnership Carrere and Hastings, of New York, known for its association with Beaux-Arts style (the Classical roots of this style being evidenced here at the former Bank of Toronto building). See also: https://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/en/oha/details/file?id=3432 ; http://www.dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/node/1668

(2) The former Bank of Toronto, founded in 1855, amalgamated with the Dominion Bank in 1955, thus forming the Toronto Dominion Bank.

Keele and Dundas Streets, looking north (Toronto, Canada), 8 October, 1923

Keele and Dundas Streets, looking north (Toronto, Canada), 8 October, 1923

Also worth seeing

In Downtown Toronto, visitor attractions include: Old City Hall, St James's Cathedral, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, the CN Tower, the Ontario Legislative Assembly Building at Queen's Park, Fort York, Union Station, and many others.

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How to get there: Air Canada,flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. However, visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many sights to be easily walkable. The Junction, Toronto, may be various accessed via TTC services #26, #30, #40 and #89. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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