The Dominion Building:  A famous landmark at Hastings and Cambie, involving more than one kind of colour.  Note the role of “… eagerness for speculating in real estate …” by Vancouver citizens of the period.


From    The project’s progress was covered extensively in the local press. The Imperial Trust Company could raise only half the $600,000 estimated cost and floated an issue of bonds to raise the rest. Citizens were invited to invest in a “building [that] will be a landmark in the city, and object of pride to every loyal citizen.”

When public response was less than satisfactory, the firm arranged a hasty merger with the Dominion Trust Company, which assumed ownership of the building in late 1908. The building was complete by March 1910, but the anticipated rush of prospective tenants failed to materialize; the central core layout proved inefficient in terms of usable office space.

The Dominion Trust Company, like the Bank of Vancouver – which also failed, was symbolic of the hopes that Vancouver residents had for the city becoming a financial metropolis and their eagerness for speculating in real estate. Both of these financial institutions collapsed with the end of the real estate boom. The Dominion Trust Company was forced to sell its only asset – the building – to the Dominion Bank (no relationship).

The Dominion Bank sold the building in 1943 to S. J. Cohen, president of the Army and Navy Department Stores, who intended to convert it into a multi-story department store at the end of the war. These plans were never carried out. When the Dominion Bank merged with the Bank of Toronto, a branch of the new Toronto-Dominion Bank was housed in this building.