Dunsmuir and Granville – ne corner

These days the building here houses a Shoppers Drug Mart, but a few years ago it was a CIBC Bank building – and that’s who developed the site with a McCarter and Nairne designed modernist building from 1957 that’s now so highly thought of architecturally that it’s on the Post 40s Register – the equivalent of heritage recognition. Inside there’s an amazing BC Binning mosaic that covers half the upper back wall – when it was a bank it was hard to see, but the retail conversion created a mezzanine that allows perfect viewing opportunities. Before the CIBC bank building was another bank – built as the flagship Bank of Montreal branch in 1893. (and seen here in a 1905 Vancouver Public Library image shot by Phillip Timms).

Designed in a style called ‘Scottish Baronial’ it created an appropriate partner for the gothic baronial of the CPR station at the bottom of Granville Street. Montreal’s Taylor and Gordon are credited as the architects, but Andrew Taylor, born in Edinburgh, was almost certainly responsible for the design – especially as his architectural partner George Gordon mostly stayed in London where their partnership had been formed. Taylor retired from architecture in 1904, returned to London and became a Conservative politician and was awarded a knighthood in 1926.


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