Courtesy E. Hawkins/GNWT

Courtesy E. Hawkins/GNWT

Bank of Toronto Building: City of Yellowknife Heritage Site

Statement of Significance

The Bank of Toronto Building is a City of Yellowknife Heritage Site. It is a single story log building with a partially hipped roof. The building is currently located at 7 Otto Drive, on Latham Island. The heritage designation applies only to the building. Originally a small residence built on the Rock in 1939, the log cabin became the smallest branch of the Bank of Toronto in 1944. Alan Lambert was one of the bank’s manager, and later rose through the ranks to become President and CEO of TD Bank.

The Bank of Toronto Building is one of Yellowknife’s oldest surviving buildings. Typical of a number of Yellowknife’s early buildings, this log structure reflects typical boom and bust cycles of construction in a northern mining town, and was originally located on the Rock, in the heart of historic Yellowknife.

This building is associated with the beginning of banking in Yellowknife. Originally a private residence, the Bank of Toronto bought the building in 1944, just 5 years after it was built. Alan Lambert, former president and chairman of the Toronto Dominion Bank, cut his teeth as branch manager here. In 1951, the bank closed due to insufficient business.

In 1964, Sam Otto, early Yellowknife pioneer, trapper, and prospector, bought and moved the building to its current location on Otto Drive (named after Mr.Otto himself). Since then, the building has been used as a private residence.

The building has gained considerable prominence as an Old Town landmark. Its attractive exterior and proximity to the street have made it a favourite of walking tours. The building has also been featured in a number of publications and articles on the history of Yellowknife.

Character-defining elements of the site include:

  • The overall massing, including, but not limited to, its one-story layout, partially hipped roof, and distribution of windows.
  • Log materials and craftsmanship.
  • Prominent, visible location in a residential neighbourhood in Old Town Yellowknife

City of Yellowknife By-law 4079

Yellowknife Historical Building Inventory 2013, City of Yellowknife