288, rue Saint-Jacques
The Molson family has been part of Montreal for a long time. While we know the Molson business in the beer industry, I was surprised to know that the Molsons also managed banks and had their own currency for a while.
In the early XXth century, Montreal was a major financial district in Canada at a blooming time. Montreal was then surpassing Toronto in terms of transactions values. The Molson Bank had 125 branches making it an important player in the banking business.
The Molson family saw the opportunity and from about the 1850’s until it merged with the Bank of Montreal in 1925, it supported the growing needs of the locals and merchants not only in Montreal but in other regions.
The building located at the corner of St. Jacques (St-James) Street and Saint-Pierre was the headquarters of the Molson Bank and it dates back to 1864.
Another bank branch, dating back to 1903, still stands in the St-Remi district at 5001-5011 Notre-Dame Street West. The one hour walk tour is not worth it but it is nice to know.
Today, the building has been repurposed. However, its architectural features, the clock and the original engraved name are still present.
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