II-83294 | The Banking Room, Bank of Montreal, Montreal, QC, 1887

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The Banking Room, Bank of Montreal, Montreal, QC, 1887
Wm. Notman & Son
1887, 19th century
Silver salts - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , civic (349) , commercial (1771) , governmental (274) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The Bank of Montreal, founded in 1817 by Montreal merchants, was easily Canada's largest bank. By 1856, it had 26 branches across British North America; by the 1860s, it was the third largest bank in North America. As the Canadian political crisis deepened, the Bank of Montreal drew increasingly closer to government. By 1863, it was acting as the fiscal agent of the Province of Canada. It was also closely identified with railways, holding the accounts of the Grand Trunk and Great Western railways. After Confederation, it became closely linked to the Canadian Pacific Railway.

  • What

    In a country where capital was critical to development, banks were of great importance. They were closely linked to railways and other major business corporations providing credit facilities and financing.

  • Where

    Originally established in Montreal, the Bank of Montreal expanded to Toronto, Kingston and smaller communities, in addition to opening agencies in New York and Chicago.

  • When

    Founded in 1817, the Bank became increasingly important to both merchants and manufacturers. By the time of Confederation, the Bank of Montreal was acting as fiscal agent for the government.

  • Who

    After Confederation, the merchants on the Bank's board of directors were replaced with big Canadian manufacturers with whom the Bank became more and more closely associated.