Doors Open 2: Commerce Court

We hiked from religious temples and temples of learning to a financial temple on Bay Street. The original Commerce Court tower celebrates the splendour of money with sumptuous symmetry.


  We started off casing the outside, first stopping to greet one of William McElcheran’s Little Fat Businessmen, then going into the courtyard to play with the elephants (Danica’s favourite animals).

After noting relief carvings on the exterior, we went around to the impressive front door arch. It too is carved with enough pattern to please a pasha and arcane symbolism promoting the virtues that lead to wealth and prosperity.

An impressively coffered entry hall turns out to be relatively modest, as it opens into an awe-inspiring, cavernous centre hall. Rather uninspired, paint-by-numbers portraits of executives peer down from gilded frames. All of the glory has been saved for the architecture, with soars above them in vaulting arches.

We exited through an old-meets-new archway that connects to the modern skyscraper.

2 thoughts on “Doors Open 2: Commerce Court

  1. It’s amazing how interesting downtown becomes when you have a destination but don’t have an agenda. You stumble upon some very interesting things and no real crowds (an amazing weekend fact) .

    I enjoyed the open space and green tranquility at U of T’s Kings College Circle but finding sculptures among bank towers and movie shoots in the middle of the roads gave us some fun talking points.

    A great summary so far but our final stop still has me smiling…look forward to your coverage of Agathom Co. Architects.

  2. Way back in the dark ages, when Canada was still part of the British Empire, the Bank of Commerce Tower was ‘the tallest structure in the commonwealth’;
    At least that’s what the tour guide indicated back in 1957.
    Great photography, Bill. You should take it up as a hobby.
    Das IMP.

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