Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Bank of Nova Scotia

Bank of Nova Scotia
(Courtesy of the Archives of Manitoba)
Installed 1987
254 Portage Avenue

Constructed in 1908–10, this was the first building designed as a bank to be erected away from "Banker's Row" on Main Street. The elegant facade is terra cotta manufactured in England and hung on a frame of steel. Architects were the Toronto firm of Darling and Pearson, famous across Canada for bank design, including several structures in Winnipeg. The exuberant detail employed here stands in contrast to the austere classicism of their Bank of Commerce at 389 Main Street. The sweep of the facade with its high dome and corner portal was an effective solution to the design difficulties of a narrow site. A 1930-31 addition by Winnipeg architects Jordan and Over matched perfectly the Baroque Revival detail and doubled the frontage on Portage Avenue. The building is a monument to the skill of its architects, and the importance of banking to Winnipeg's economy by the early 1900s.