Monday, July 10, 2017

Tuesday Treasures

Pictorial Tuesday   Tom hosts Tuesday's Treasures.

July 2017 - Toronto ON

Since this is Canada's 150th birthday I am continuing all things Canadian this week.

Once of Canada's top five financial institutions has done an amazing job of celebrating Canada.

They have put on display in the Old Banking Hall some great mementos.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly known as CIBC, is the fifth largest bank in Canada. It was created through the 1961 merger of two Ontario-based banks, the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada — the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canada’s history. Today, CIBC operates its business in Canada and abroad through three divisions: retail and business banking, wealth management, and capital markets.

Gavel used at the first board meeting.

The original head office remains in downtown Toronto and is a masterpiece.

I took these photos a few years ago from Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) from the 32nd floor.

I researched and found this site called Toronto Plaques which provided the following history.
Upon completion, this 34-storey skyscraper was the tallest building in the British Empire and was praised as the "greatest addition to Toronto's increasing, Manhattan-like skyline." It was designed for The Canadian Bank of Commerce jointly by the Toronto firm Darling and Pearson, and by York and Sawyer, the foremost New York City bank architects of the era. Rising in tiers, the building features richly carved Romanesque Revival detailing and a vaulted Main Banking Hall said to be modelled after Rome's Baths of Caracalla. A popular outdoor observation gallery on the 32nd floor - guarded by great carved heads with flowing beards - gave the public unobstructed city views until even taller office towers were built in the 1960s. After The Commerce merged with the Imperial Bank of Canada in 1961, the building became the head office of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Some more photos from the outside.

The following information is from the Historic Toronto website:

The richly ornamented chandelier in the banking hall, its bottom tier containing the caduceus, the symbol of the Bank of Commerce.

The caduceus is the traditional symbol of Hermes and features two snakes winding around a staff, often mistakenly used as a symbol of medicine. In Greek mythology, it was a symbol of commerce and negotiation, a natural representation for The Bank of Commerce.

I loved this flowchart of the history.

As an ex-banker on the technology side I was thrilled to see these "antiques".

Who remembers Chargex!!


  1. ...1929, what a time to open a new bank! The building is gorgeous, so unlike bank buildings of today. Thanks Jackie for sharing this great post. I hope that we can do this again.

  2. Marvelous architecture on the outside and inside. I have seen it from the exterior, but I've never gone inside.

  3. Beautiful pictures and a great history lesson! I'm originally from Canada and didn't know most of that. :-)

  4. Very cool Canada Day Celebration post. Some fascinating architecture.


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