|Competing for prestige
At the corner of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Jacques are five magnificent head offices, the impressive denizens of Great St. James Street in its heyday.
In 1866, the Molson Bank must certainly have been a sensation, with its resemblance to a hotel particulier in Paris. This was the first Montréal building directly influenced by the French Second Empire style.
In 1895, the Canada Life Insurance building was the first building in Montréal, indeed perhaps in all of Canada, to boast an eight-storey steel structure
In 1909, the Canadian Bank of Commerce unveiled its imposing Corinthian colonnade.
When it was built in 1928, and for many years afterward, the new head office of the Royal Bank held the record for the tallest building in the British Empire. The magnificent lobby is definitely worth a visit.