Architecture and History

Bank of Canada Building, Wellington Street, Ottawa

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

7:00 p.m. on ZOOM* 

If you are not a member but would like to join us, email 

to request a link to our ZOOM meeting. We always welcome new members. 

James Powell

Retired Senior Officer, Bank of Canada

James will speak about the interesting history and architecture of the award-winning Bank of Canada Building. 

He is also author of the Ottawa history blog: 
Today in Ottawa’s History.

The headquarters of the Bank of Canada, the country’s central bank, is an austere, granite cube, sandwiched between two symmetrical, twelve-story glass and copper towers connected by a covered atrium.

The original building was constructed during the late 1930s in the classical style favoured by banks at that time. It suggested solidity and soundness. In contrast, the later glass towers, designed by world-famous Canadian architect Arthur Erickson in the early 1970s, signified the modern themes of transparency and openness.

In 2014, the structure underwent a significant renovation to bring the buildings up to code with respect to earthquake safety. In addition, up-to-date heating and ventilation systems and a modern communications infrastructure were also installed. At the same time, a museum and conference space were also constructed under the Bank of Canada plaza. 

Bank of Canada Photo credit: By Taxiarchos228, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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