Bank of Montreal in downtown Winnipeg

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Bank of Montreal one of many beautiful buildings in downtown Winnipeg

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photo credit to Garry Robinson, (Garry9600 on flickr)
photo credit to Garry Robinson, (Garry9600 on flickr)

Portage and Main sees neo-classical architecture at its best

The Bank of Montreal in downtown Winnipeg is one of the most compelling heritage buildings in the city. Located at 335 Main Street, the heart of Portage and Main, this iconic building was erected in 1913. Featuring gold leaf in the ceiling, Corinthian columns, and vast amounts of marble, the Bank of Montreal is a tribute to fine neo-classical architecture.

One of the beautiful features of a building such as this is that every detail has had a great amount of thought put into it. When admiring the outside of the building, you will want to look up, far above eye level, to admire the intricate curls and ornaments at the top of the columns. There are many vantage points from various sides of the Portage and Main intersection for pedestrians, and to fully appreciate the architecture you may want to view it from several sides before entering the building. Inside the Bank of Montreal, no matter which way you the look – the walls, the ceiling, the floor – there is something to be admired.

Summertime visitors can enjoy additional decorations of large potted plants.

It’s hard not to appreciate an incredible building like 335 Main Street’s Bank of Montreal. The building materials and architectural design have ensured its long-lasting sustainability, reminiscent of many European structures. Over the years some restoration has been completed in various aspects to preserve the building in its original form, with the bank spending $2,400,000 to see it happen. The Bank of Montreal is one of many stunning historical buildings situated in downtown Winnipeg.

At 335 Main Street, the Bank of Montreal offers free tours for history buffs and banking options for the business-minded

An excellent time to visit 335 Main Street is during Heritage Winnipeg’s Doors Open Winnipeg event: a two-day annual event taking place in late spring and featuring tours of more than 75 historical buildings across the city. At Doors Open, you will receive interesting snippets of information on details about the Bank of Montreal, drawing your eye towards specific features and enabling you to wander throughout the building at your leisure. A set of stairs lead down to the bank’s intimidatingly thick-walled vaults, which you can see up close during the Doors Open event. And take a good look at that gold leaf ceiling, because it is estimated at a value of more than $1,000,000!

Keep in mind that the Bank of Montreal isn’t just an elegant landmark. It is also a fully functional banking facility, drumming up regular business for customers. But whether you are visiting 335 Main Street for business or for pleasure, you will be glad you dropped in for a look at this Winnipeg landmark. It is also conveniently located with an entrance to the underground Winnipeg Circle (an enclosed pedestrian walkway).

Downtown Winnipeg’s Bank of Montreal is a must-see, but if you just can’t wait to get to it in person, I would encourage you to check out the virtual tour of the building at https://www.virtual.heritagewinnipeg.com/vignettes/vignettes_130W.htm. Learn more about the Bank of Montreal at the Heritage Winnipeg website, www.heritagewinnipeg.com.

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Sagan Morrow owns an open-concept condo in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and loves downtown living. She writes the blog Living Healthy in the Real World, is the Executive Director of the Food Label Movement, and is the Dig In Coordinator / Acting Youth Outreach Coordinator / Development Coordinator for Food Matters Manitoba. Sagan is a freelance writer and editor as well as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. She enjoys taking in the theatre and culture of downtown Winnipeg during her spare time.

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