Date: 1932

Origin: CNE Archives; Patricia McHugh and Alex Bozikovic “Toronto Architecture: A City Guide”, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart (2017) p. 89; Carola Vyhnak “Once Upon a City: The Making of Toronto’s University Ave.” Toronto Star, Thursday, August 6, 2015.

Three buildings shape the Toronto skyline in the 1930s: the Canada Life Assurance Co. on University Avenue (far left), the Canadian Bank of Commerce on King Street West (middle), and The Royal York Hotel on Front Street West (right, just left of smokestack).

The Canadian Bank of Commerce enjoyed the distinction of being the “tallest building in the Empire” for many decades. The 34-story structure designed by York & Sawyer with Darling & Pearson was constructed between 1929 and 1931.

View an article on about the building of the Canada Life Building & University Avenue: Once Upon a City: The Making of Toronto’s University Avenue.