Updated: Feb 5, 2021
The Toronto-Dominion bank has been a keystone within the Transcona community for over one hundred years, beginning as the Bank of Toronto. Since the bank's initial entrance to the Transcona community, it has operated in five different buildings and multiple different locations within Transcona. As TD leaves downtown Transcona this summer, we will look back on the history of the bank within the community, and the different buildings the bank operated in.
The bank first joined the Transcona community in 1911 as the Bank of Toronto. The first Bank of Toronto branch in Western Canada was built in Winnipeg at the beginning of the 20th century and a branch was opened in Transcona soon after to capitalize on the community's rapid growth. The initial building was a small, temporary wooden-frame located on the west side of Bond Street, where The Lumberzone is currently located. The Bank of Toronto was the second financial institution in Transcona, the first being the Canadian Bank of Commerce, which will eventually become part of the modern-day Canadian Imperial
The Bank of Toronto's second, permanent building was built later in 1911 and located across Bond Street, just behind where the Transcona Museum is currently located. In this humble building, the Bank of Toronto operated from 1911 to 1924.
After World War I, a new, modern banking hall in a classical style was proposed in 1924 to be located on the northeast corner of Bond Street and Regent Avenue. This is the same building where the Transcona Museum currently resides. This building was intended to be a landmark within the Transcona community and J.A. Tremblay, a well-known contractor from St. Boniface was placed in charge of the building's construction.
The third building was designed to evoke a feeling of safety, security and dignity for bank customers and clients; ideal characteristics for a bank. The design features dark brick and a smooth stone base. The front facade includes a grand single entrance, and both the entrance and windows have stone accents. The second floor features two windows below the entablature with overhanging cornice and plain parapet above. The raised brick on the corners of the building mimics classical columns. The interior of the building originally included the banking hall on the ground floor, along with a vault and the bank manager's office. The second floor, which would have been accessed by a staircase at the back of a building, featured a suite that would have been occupied by a bachelor accountant or possibly the bank manager. This was for security reasons, as it was ideal for someone to be on the premises of the bank at all times. This was before the modern electronic security systems of today, after all.
The Bank of Toronto operated in its third location at 141 Regent Avenue for nearly two decades until 1942. At this time, the Bank of Toronto acquired the local business of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, who had built another nearly identical classical-style bank diagonal from 141 Regent Avenue, on the southwest corner of Regent Avenue and Bond Street. The Bank of Toronto decided to move out of its current building and into the Canadian Bank of Commerce building instead. The bank has remained on the same lot.
The bank operated within the former Canadian Bank of Commerce building until 1962, until the building was demolished and a new, more modern bank was built on the same lot. After the merger between the Bank of Toronto and the Dominion Bank, the bank was now known as the Toronto-Dominion Bank.
After 1962, there is little information readily available regarding any changes to the building. The bank has clearly undergone some external renovation since the 1962 building was constructed. Despite not being the first bank in the Transcona community, TD has become the last and many residents will miss how the bank served the community and its place as a landmark.
"Transcona Heritage Resources Inventory – Transcona Historical Museum (Bank of Toronto/Municipal Offices) 141 Regent Avenue West." Transcona Museum.
Toronto-Dominion Bank Fonds. Transcona Museum Archives.
Lorne McIntyre Fonds. Transcona Museum Archives.
St. Vital Historical Society Fonds. Transcona Museum Archives.
No Donor Recorded 56 Fonds. Transcona Museum Archives.
Jim Smith Fonds. Transcona Museum Archives.