Yesterday I showed you one former bank on Sparks Street that has been converted into government space. This is another example, one that I've shown you the exterior of before. The Bank Of Montreal established this Beaux-Arts beauty here in 1930 as a main branch for the bank in the city, right across from Parliament Hill. The bank left these quarters in 2005, and has since established a new main branch a short walk away. The government has made the building into a conference and reception center accessible from both Wellington Street and Sparks Street, and named it in honour of our first Prime Minister. The Sir John A. Macdonald Building was first opened for Doors Open last year, but I missed getting in, so this year I made sure to stop in. It is definitely a showstopper inside.
The stairs that lead down to the Sparks Street level also lead to the vault, which today is used as a conference space. The vault door itself is still there, and it is thick.
One final space I wanted to show was the bank manager's office back in the day, and this fireplace is in it.
The building is a beauty, inside and out, and generally speaking, Doors Open is the only time the public will get in. I can definitely see its value for receptions and conferences, so it was well worth the effort for the government to transform it into this new use.
This final view takes in the building from the Sparks Street side. I will return to the Doors Open series after the beginning of the month, as I still have other sites to cover.