Bank of Nova Scotia
125 Sparks Street
Written by Bytown Museum
This Bank of Nova Scotia building, opened in 1925, was designed by prominent Canadian architect John M. Lyle, who also designed Toronto's Union Station. The façade reflects an architectural trend of the time in which banks were designed to look like ancient temples that had endured for centuries, in the hopes of inspiring investors' confidence.
If you take a walk down Sparks Street today, you will find branches of most major Canadian banks. In the late 1800s, you would have found the city's banks across from Parliament Hill on Wellington Street – the bankers wanted to be near the legislators. In the early 20th century, these banks and other businesses were forced off of Wellington Street and on to Sparks Street by a rapidly expanding federal government.
Today, the Bank of Nova Scotia building is occupied by the Library of Parliament.