A Photographic History of Vancouver Banks

As our transactional economy relocates to the Internet and financial institutions continue to close branches, we remember those banks that once stood as pillars of our community.

The Bank of Toronto, 1919
The deed to this award-winning building passe

Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (580 West Hastings)
In 1987 an architectural charette sought methods of saving the derelict banking hall and, as a result, the building was donated to SFU as an international conference centre. Transforming the crumblin

British Canadian Securities Building (402 West Pender)
The British Canadian Securities building, at the corner of Pender and Homer streets, was built in 1911 at the height of a land-speculation boom that saw money pouring into B.C. not only from Montreal

Royal Bank of Canada, 1903
With its prominent arched windows and impressive giant pilasters, the Vancouver Film School fits in perfectly on the southwest corner of West Hastings and Homer streets, stationed amid a line of imposing heritage-style commerci

Vancouver Film School (400 West Hastings)
Security was a key issues for the financial institution, which featured some of the most advanced security features of its time, including an enormous reinforced concrete vault (protected by a steel door and thic

The Dominion Bank Building (207 West Hastings)
Considered one of Vancouver’s most famous landmarks, the Dominion Bank Building, which looms over Gastown, was one of the earliest skyscrapers in Canada. For almost half a decade, it held the status of t

Canadian Bank of Commerce, 1907
This address on West Hastings Street was home to valuable content long before luxury jewelry retailer Birks & Mayors moved into the premises in the 1980s. The statuesque neoclassical building was constructed as the hea

Birks (698 West Hastings)
Architects Oberto Oberti Architecture and Urban Design Inc. joined forces with Nova Development in 1994 to link the past with the present and convert the building to retail use. The property is listed on the Vancouver Heritage R

British Canadian Securities building (402 West Pender)
This neo-Renaissance building opened its doors in 1931 as the new B.C. headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. The building was designed as a replica of the banks headquarters in Montreal; however,

Bank of Commerce Building, 1933
Visitors to the Bank of Hamilton Building or as it was known back in 1933, the Bank of Commerce building were among the first to experience an electric elevator in the Lower Mainland. This then-modern feature was installed

Bank of Hamilton Building (92 Lonsdale)
Today the premises are occupied by a diverse group of businesses, including a hockey magazine, a hair dressing salon and an engineering company.(Photo: Dina Goldstein)

Royal Bank, 1912
Erected in 1912 specifically for the financial institution, which vacated the building in 1973, the heritage building has been home to the renowned dance institute for over two decades now. One of the better-known architects in Vancouver

Goh Ballet Academy (2345 Main Street)
The dress code for visitors to 2345 Main St. has undergone a significant transformation since the former Royal Bank branch became home to the Goh Ballet Academy.(Photo: Ben Oliver)

Bank of Montreal, 1916
The tasteful temple bank building, erected in 1916, hosted some of the provinces business elite during its 84-year-stint as Vancouver headquarters for the Bank of Montreal. The bank commissioned an expansion of the premises in 1924

Segal Graduate School of Business (500 Granville Street)
The ghosts of tenants past may provide inspiration for students studying at SFUs Segal Graduate School of Business. It was restored for SFU by Merrick Architecture Ltd. in 2005, winning the 2006 Ci