Bank of Montreal

4896 Delta Street
Delta, BC

Built: 1919
 

The Bank of Montreal building is a two-storey, wood-frame commercial structure with simple Craftsman-style influences. The building is located at the corner of Delta Street, the main street in the downtown area of Ladner Village, and Trenant Street, within the historic commercial centre of Delta.

Status: Still Standing

Bank of Montreal building currently used as a Royal Canadian Legion Hall - 2005
click photo for more pictures

Heritage Value

The Bank of Montreal building is valued for its association with the early twentieth century commercial development of downtown Ladner, Delta's original town centre. The consistent and distinctive built form of the area dates from the time when Delta was developing rapidly due to booming agricultural, canning and fishing industries, and Ladner was its commercial centre. This building is a landmark component of the historic group of buildings along Delta Street, the main commercial thoroughfare in Delta's Ladner Village. Constructed as a branch for the Bank of Montreal, it occupies a prominent corner location. Though the bank closed in 1926 the building continued to serve a commercial purpose as a liquor store from 1929 to 1970. Since that time it has been used as a Royal Canadian Legion Hall.

Additionally, the Bank of Montreal building is valued as an important example of the type of bank architecture that was predominant in western Canada during the early twentieth century. Drawn up at bank head offices or by the bank's appointed architects, these standardized designs could be quickly, easily and inexpensively executed across the country in emerging communities. Built in 1919, the wood-frame construction and modest detailing of this structure exemplifies the architecture of many bank branches in small centres. The design was influenced by the Craftsman style, extremely popular at the time and easily adapted to wood-frame construction. The building's architecture reflects the optimism, growth and confidence of the post-First World War era. Though simple, the Craftsman embellishments, including curved eave brackets with wooden pegging, provided a note of sophistication.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Bank of Montreal building include its:

  • corner location within the centre of Ladner Village on the main commercial street
  • commercial form, scale and massing as expressed by its two-storey, regular, rectangular plan, built to the front and side property lines
  • front gabled roof with broad eaves, wooden, tongue-and-groove soffits, and cedar shingle cladding
  • wood-frame construction with twin coursed shingle siding on the upper floor, and board-and-batten cladding in the gables
  • additional Craftsman style details such as exposed purlins and rafter tails, bracketted front gable overhang, and curved eave brackets with wooden pegging
  • single, double and triple-assembly window openings
  • exterior features such as the second-storey rear doorway sheltered by a bracketted gabled roof hood