Have you noticed all the beautiful bank branches that have closed throughout downtown London and in the area known as East London?
When the former Bank of Montreal branch on Richmond Street at Queens Avenue was painted red there was a big hullabaloo with even local politicians wading into the fray. Unfortunately, outside the downtown core it's a different story. This elegant former bank building, now painted a bright red is found on the edge of East London. Its humiliation has gone relatively unnoticed.
Curious about the coat of arms above the entrance? This presently empty corner store was originally an elegant branch of the Bank of Toronto. A century ago the Toronto-based bank was known to display the City of Toronto coat of arms. For instance, a former Bank of Toronto branch in downtown Brockville sports a similar decoration.
Over the years the City of Toronto coat of arms had gone through a number of changes. These bank versions predate most of the modifications and for that reason are reportedly very close to the original sketch which was quickly drawn on a barroom floor and paid for with a few drinks.
It's odd to think that some of the best examples of the original City of Toronto coat of arms are to be found on former bank buildings scattered about the province and unappreciated they are in danger of being lost.