Bank of Nova Scotia - Halifax, NS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 44° 38.869 W 063° 34.358
20T E 454592 N 4943988
Quick Description: A wonderfully decorated Art Deco building, the Bank of Nova Scotia continues in service as a bank.
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Posted: 1/3/2018 5:09:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMXEVZ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 0

Long Description:
In the "Dirty Thirties", when a great many smaller banks were failing and closing their doors, the Bank of Nova Scotia seems to have been going the other way, erecting this monumental Art Deco head office building in the heart of downtown Halifax. Covered from top to bottom with various Nova Scotia related motifs carved in the sandstone of the building, it is as much a work of art as architecture. Further below is a relatively complete description of this artwork, from Historic Places Canada.

1709 Hollis Street, Halifax
By 1930, it had become apparent that the current Head Office and Halifax Main Branch (188 Hollis Street) was too small for one of Canada's fastest growing financial institutions. On August 3, 1931, The Bank of Nova Scotia opened one of our most authentically Canadian buildings. Pre-eminent Canadian Architect John M. Lyle designed 1709 Hollis Street from its structure to its decorative features, fixtures, and furniture, injecting motifs depicting Canadian natural and economic history throughout the building. This jewel of Canadian architecture continues to house our Atlantic Regional Office, and Halifax Main Branch.
From Scotiabank

While the heritage of the Bank of Nova Scotia stretches back to 1631, its true roots begin with the Bank of New Brunswick, the first Bank in Canada to operate under a charter on March 25, 1820. It amalgamated with The Bank of Nova Scotia on February 15, 1913. The Bank of Nova Scotia itself came into existence on March 30, 1832, with The Bank of Nova Scotia Act of Incorporation receiving Royal Assent. The first branch opened for business in John Romans' building at Granville and Duke Streets in Halifax on August 29, 1832. In 1838, the Bank moved into its first owned premises at 188-190 Hollis Street. In 1869 deposits hit the one million dollar mark for the first time in the Bank of Nova Scotia's history. Over the years, as the bank grew it absorber many small local banks, the Bank of Liverpool, NS in 1879, the Union Bank of Prince Edward Island in 1883, parts of The Sovereign Bank of Canada in 1908, the Bank of New Brunswick in 1913, the Metropolitan Bank in 1914, the Bank of Ottawa in 1919, with many more to follow.

In 1885, The Bank of Nova Scotia ventured south of the border, opening a branch in Minneapolis, MN. In 1889 a branch was opened in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1900 The Bank's General Offices are relocated from Halifax, NS to Toronto, ON; by that time the bank had branches from the maritimes to Winnipeg. With branches opening in Calgary and Edmonton in 1903, Vancouver in 1904 and Saskatoon and Regina in 1907, the Bank of Nova Scotia becomes a Canada wide bank. In 1920, with many branches in the Caribbean by this time, the bank opened its first European branch in London, England. By this time nearly a worldwide bank, in 1930 the bank began construction on this building at 1709 Hollis Street.

Bank of Nova Scotia

The Bank of Nova Scotia building was built in 1931 to serve as the main branch for the organization in Canada. This six storey, sandstone Art Deco building is located in downtown Halifax. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.

The Bank of Nova Scotia building is valued for its architecture and design as well as its association with the well known architect, John MacIntosh Lyle, who designed the building.

The building was designed by famous Canadian architect John McIntosh Lyle. Lyle began designing banks in 1907 and had received three commissions from the Bank of Nova Scotia, including the main branch building in Halifax. Lyle was passionate about architecture and strove to make every design unique and reflective of its environment. Every surface of the building is the result of Lyle's research on the plants, animals and ocean life of the Maritimes. There is not a wall or doorway that does not hold some reminder of Nova Scotia's heritage. Built of sandstone, carved by Ira Lake, the design was chosen to harmonize with nearby Province House and Montreal Trust in height, material, and vertical lines.

The Bank of Nova Scotia is one of the finest examples of Canadian Art Deco buildings. The building is six storeys with the interior ground level being the most spectacular and also the section of the bank that is open to customers. The main floor is sheathed in marble, brass, bronze, and wood. The front doors are bronze and metal of great size. On the exterior, there are traditional pilasters rising from channeled stonework. The window grille motifs include turtles, bears, geese, seahorses and kingfishers; codfish dance along the grilles on the windows. The stone work incorporates the face of Neptune, more seahorses and a representation of the Sydney steel industry. On the Prince Street side of the building the stone panels depict both the workings of the Sydney steel plant and the magnificence of a clipper ship in full sail. Mammoth Canadian coins are emblazoned on the central frieze beneath the roof cornice.

The building continues today to serve as a bank and branch offices.
From Historic Places Canada

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Artist: John MacIntosh Lyle

1709 Hollis Street Halifax, NS B3J 1W1

Web URL to relevant information: [Web Link]

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