The Scotia Tower & Other Quebec Curios

Banks like to have tall, fancy buildings. Maybe it’s a capitalist quirk. One such Canadian bank, Scotiabank, like its competitor, the Royal Bank of Canada, has its roots in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While this particular bank only has headquarters in Toronto, Scotiabank does have an interesting branch located in downtown Montreal, in the borough of Ville-Marie. This building can claim the title of one of the city skyline’s tallest: the Scotia Tower.

Unlike the last two architectural curios we’ve seen, the Scotia Tower has one function only: administrative and banking needs for the various customers of one of Scotiabank’s institutions, ScotiaMcLeod. Constructed in 1990, the Scotia Tower consists of 27 storeys of banking goodness built in the postmodernist architectural tradition by Toronto architectural company WZMH Architects. It has a height of about 127.6 m, making it around the twentieth tallest building in Montreal. Its exterior is mainly concrete, compared to the glass and steel construction of a building like Place Ville-Marie.

The Scotia Tower won two strangely contradicting rewards over the years: it gained the BOMA Québec Building of the Year Award in 1993-4 (BOMA being a group consisting of approximately 85% of the Class A buildings in Québec). It also gained a Prix Citron in 1990 by Sauvons Montréal. The Prix Citron, understandably, is exactly what it says on the tin: a gag award for various architectural failures.

Visit the Scotia Tower in the 1002 rue Sherbrooke ouest.