Bringing the Past Back to Life

Built in 1910, the Merchants Bank of Canada was the first chartered bank to open in Oakville. Located at 159 Lakeshore Road East, it eventually became known as the Bank of Montreal building. The structure was renovated in 1950, 1975 and 1986 – and an unflattering brick extension was added to the back of the building. To a large degree, the exterior retained much of its original features and detailing, although some of these elements were covered in metal cladding. ATA was brought on board to restore the heritage portion of the complex and create an addition that seamlessly integrated with the existing aesthetics while simultaneously meeting the spatial needs of Anthropologie (the intended retail tenant).

As part of the process, ATA restored details (including windows, the entablature and the pediment) found on the original complex that had been hidden or damaged during previous renovations. Exceptional care was taken to use matching materials and methods when damaged stone or brick components needed repair.

Rather than attempting to replicate the historic building, the design approach taken for the addition was a contemporary one of sympathetic massing, rhythm and respect for the underlying order. In this way, ATA ensured that the original building retained its historic integrity independent of the new structure.

Revieved the Heritage Canada Heritage Cornerstone Award and the Oakville Livable by Design Award of Excellence.

Read more about the awards.