Why I Love Toronto Because Of Doors Open Reason #267
Commerce Court North
Now I got a message from one of my followers today telling me I was a behind a day. Now of course I was like nah I’m usually ahead at least one day, but no I was wrong! Somewhere along the way I got behind and without him/her telling me I probably would have been at August 31st saying why am I at reason #364 if there are 366 days in this year. So here is the post that will catch me up!
Commerce Court too many of us is known as part of the CIBC Financial district branch. Completed in 1931 by Darling and Pearson (who did the Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge, the original AGO, the original ROM building as well as the Mount Pleasant Mausoleum) with the help of York and Sawyer the building stood 34 storey’s high and was once the tallest building in the city. In fact it remained the tallest building in the Commonwealth until 1962 when the Montreal CIBC building was built higher, but that only lasted for a few years until it was eventually passed by another building.
What is most significant about Commerce Court other than its Beaux-Arts style is the banking hall which is said to be modelled after the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. I mean it looks like you have stepped into a church. It has a high ceiling, these amazing chandeliers, gold-coffered ceiling and massive windows to let light in.
The bank even has 4 storeys of basement which is where the bank has their vaults. The vaults are concrete lined with steel and are so strong that if the building were to collapse the vaults would be okay.
Furthermore, being the tallest building at the time the bank opened a public observation deck, but was closed because of safety concern (I mean really Observation Deck + Tallest Building at the time + Great Depression = Rich People Suicide Central). But at the time for only a mere .25 cents (well mere to us) you could get the best view of the city. Now if you look up today at the building were the observation deck was you will notice these face structures that have really long beards that surround the building. Behind those faces are arch ways which the observers would have to go under. Oh my gosh if only, if only we were allowed to go up there today! I mean sure we wouldn’t see much because everything around the north tower is taller than the north tower, but still it would be amazing! DOORS OPEN MAKE THIS HAPPEN FOR NEXT YEAR!
Soon the world will also get to catch a glimpse of Commerce Court North – well the façade anyways. Last summer the remake Total Recall shot a scene there! Click Here to check out the clip!
Commerce Court North is a beautiful building. Like all former CIBC buildings whether it was before the Bank or Commerce or the Imperial Bank merged into the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the buildings for all of their banks were just astonishing. I have some amazing picture of the bank in the old days from the Commerce Court website to share with you. I guarantee you will be left in awe. Now I did not check out Doors Open last year because I was on vacation, but I did check Commerce Court out 2 years ago – sadly it is not on the agenda for this year, but hopefully it will back on next year!
That Is Why I Love Toronto.