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The Trizec Building had been a controversial project.
DAVID WALKER, AUTHOR: THE GREAT
It was a very grand scheme, which captured the imagination
of the city council. They were driven by the view that if
they built this corner big that it would maintain it as the
third largest city in the country. They decided to plunk into
the middle of that famous corner the largest complex Winnipeg
had ever seen. When you have an important corner, you have
a historically interesting corner, is this the best we could
have done. My answer is this is not the best we could have
done. We could have designed it differently and had better
city for it.
The architecture of the Trizec building promised more than
was realized. The Bank of Nova Scotia building we see today
was originally a real jewel almost like a cut diamond. And
it was going to shine on the corner of P&M and it doesn't
do that. The grand dame is the Bank of Montreal.
BANK OF MONTREAL
NAR: Indeed, the Bank of Montreal stands like a Roman Temple
at the south east corner. Its marble façade glistening
in the afternoon light. At night, gleaming like a timeless
beacon at the crossroads of the city.
LAURA FURNIVAL, BANK OF MONTREAL
The branch was designed by McKim Mead and White... the exterior
is granite. We have six columns on the exterior. It's such
a special experience when you come in the main doors: it's
overwhelming. You walk into our main banking hall and we are
the oldest banking hall still operating in Canada and you
look up the ceiling and you look up at the walls and its so
expansive and its so beautiful.
The ceiling is gold leaf, very
intricately designed ceiling. In 1980 we had it estimated
at $1m. At the back of the building...is stain glass windows...you
will see that they bear 3 coats of arms; they have the bank's,
the province's they have our country's.
It's so difficult for me to put
into words how it feels to be working at Winnipeg main Bank
of Montreal. The premise outside in the evening, particularly
in the later evening when its dusk and the lights. It makes
your heart swell. And to be able to say to anyone; family
and friends that I work at bank of Montreal at Portage and
Main; it's such a privilege!
NAR: The most recent corner to see change is the new Toronto
Dominion Bank tower at the Northwest corner. It's just changed
hands, coming into local ownership by the Asper family.
ASPER, CAN WEST GLOBAL
Our family is extremely rooted in the city of Winnipeg. When
this building came up for sale we figured that it’s
a great investment. But it's also really a symbol for us as
far as we are concerned. It's the best office building in
town. It's a 33 storey building with a beautiful rounded semicircular
glass facade that goes all the way up the building. One of
the great things about it is the plaza that was built out
in front. And there is a skylight that brings natural light
into the concourse. There's this huge open entranceway. It's
2 or 3 stories high and its all glass and it feels warm.
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