Former tallest buildings in Canada by province and territory

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Between 1888 and the 1970s, Canada was second in the world in terms of sheer number of skyscrapers. The tallest were located in Canada's biggest cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but up to fifteen skyscrapers were found in Winnipeg, most of which were built before 1920. In 1939, there were hundreds of high-rises in Canada, Many of them located in Montreal, which was enjoying a boom, but the tallest ones were found in Toronto.

Here is list of skyscrapers, churches, and other notable buildings found in Canada and built between 1809 and 1939.

An asterisk ( * ) in the Building field indicates that the building has been destroyed. An asterisk in the Height field indicates an estimation. When a building's height is listed as an estimation, it is given its estimated height based on the number of floors, comparison with its neighbours, estimation from books and other documentation, as well as other factors.

Alberta[edit]

Years Building City Height Storeys Image
1984–present Suncor Energy Centre - West Calgary 215 m (705 ft) 52
Suncor Energy Centre - West
1976-1984 Scotia Centre Calgary 155 m (509 ft) 41
Scotia Centre
1975-1976 Bow Valley Square 2 Calgary 143 m (469 ft) 39
Bow Valley Square
1974-1975 715 - 5th Avenue SW Calgary 138 m (453 ft) 32
1971-1974 TELUS Plaza South Edmonton 134 m (440 ft) 34 TELUS Plaza
1971 Edmonton House Edmonton 121 m (397 ft) 45
1966-1971 CN Tower, Edmonton Edmonton 111 m (364 ft) 26 CN Tower

British Columbia[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
Driard Hotel (2nd)* 30 ? 7 1890-92 Victoria John Teague
Willows Exhibition Building* 43 ? ** 1892? Victoria ??
St. Andrew's Cathedral 54 m ** 1892 Victoria Perrault and Mesnard
Christ Church Cathedral 1895 Vancouver C.O. Wickenden
Christ Church Cathedral* 41 1896 Victoria J.C.M. Keith
British Columbia Parliament Buildings 45 5 1897 Victoria Francis Rattenbury
Holy Rosary Cathedral 70 1900 Vancouver Julian and Williams
Woodward's building 12 1903 Vancouver W.T. Whiteway
Dominion Building 45 13 1910 Vancouver Helyer and Son
Sinclair Centre 43 7 1910 Vancouver David Ewart (for Post Office)
Thomas Hooper (Winch Building)
Sun Tower 84 17 1912 Vancouver W.T. Whiteway
Vancouver Block 56 16 1912 Vancouver Parr and Fee
Birks Building* 48 * 12 1913 Vancouver Somervell and Putnam
Credit Foncier Building 41 10 1913 Vancouver Barrot, Blackader and Webster
B.C. Permanent Loan Building 40 * 10 1914 Victoria
Standard Building 52 15 1914 Vancouver Russell, Babcock and Rice
Hotel Vancouver (1916)* (not the current hotel of that name) 77 17 1916 Vancouver Francis S. Swales
Hotel Georgia 48 * 12 1927 Vancouver Garrow and Graham Sr.
Georgia Medical Building* 68 * 17 1929 Vancouver John Young McCarter
Marine Building 98 21 1930 Vancouver McCarter and Nairne
Vancouver City Hall 55 12 1936 Vancouver Townley and Matheson
Royal Bank Building 85 18 1937 Vancouver S.G. Davenport
Hotel Vancouver 111 17 1939 Vancouver Archibald and Schofield

Manitoba[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
Eaton's Department Store* 46 9 1904 Winnipeg John Woodman
Union Bank Tower 48 10 1904 Winnipeg Darling and Pearson
Lindsay Building 44 11 1911 Winnipeg Woodman and Carey
Confederation Building 46 12 1911 Winnipeg J. Wilson Gray
National Bank Building 50 13 1911 Winnipeg John D. Atchison
Electric Railway Chambers 45 12 1912 Winnipeg Pratt and Ross, Charles S. Frost
Hotel Fort Garry 59 14 1913 Winnipeg Ross and MacFarlane
Marlbourgh Hotel 42 10 1913 Winnipeg J. Chisholm & Son
Paris Building 42 11 1915 Winnipeg Woodman and Carey
Bank of Hamilton Building 45 10 1916 Winnipeg John D. Atchison
Manitoba Legislative Building 79 5 1920 Winnipeg Simon and Boddington

New Brunswick[edit]

Building Height Floors Built City Architect
Christ Church Cathedral 60 1853 Fredericton Frank Wills
Fredericton City Hall 47 4 1876 Fredericton MacKean and Fairweather
New Brunswick Legislative Building 41 4 1882 Fredericton J.C. Dumaresque

Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
Anderson House  ? 1805 St. John's James Anderson
Government House  ? 1831 St. John's
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist 24 1847 St. John's Bishop Edward Feild
Bank of British North America Building  ? 1849 St. John's William Howe Greene
Colonial Building  ? 1850 St. John's James Purcell
Basilica of St. John The Baptist 48 1855 St. John's J.P. Jones
Saint Bonaventure's College  ? 1858 St. John's Jonas Barter
Benevolent Irish Society Building  ? 1880 St. John's John Coleman and William Kelly
Masonic Temple  ? 1894 St. John's
Cabot Tower 15 1897 St. John's William Howe Greene
St. Patrick's Church 60 1914 St. John's J.J. McCarthy

Northwest Territories[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
The Wildcat Cafe  ? 1 1937 Yellowknife  ?

Nova Scotia[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
St. Mary’s Basilica 58 1829 Halifax Patrick Keely
Dingle Memorial Tower 40 10 1912 Halifax Andrew R. Cobb and S.P. Dumaresq
Westin Nova Scotian 60 * 15 1930 Halifax
Dominion Public Building 50 13 1936 Halifax

Ontario[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
St. James Cathedral 93 1874 Toronto Cumberland and Ridout
Mackenzie Building Royal Military College of Canada 1878 Kingston Robert Gage
Temple Building 40 * 10 1885 Toronto George W. Gouinlock
Ontario Legislature 55 5 1893 Toronto Richard A. Waite
Old City Hall 104 5 1899 Toronto E.J. Lennox
Trader's Bank Building 60 * 15 1905 Toronto Carrère and Hastings
Canadian Pacific Building 60 * 15 1911 Toronto Pearson and Darling
1 King Street West 48 * 12 1914 Toronto Pearson and Darling
36 Toronto Street (Excelsior Life Insurance Company) 48 * 12 1914 Toronto E.J. Lennox
Optima Business Centre 84 * 21 1915 Toronto
302 Bay Street 52 * 13 1917 Toronto Curry and Spalding
Currie Building Royal Military College of Canada 1922 Kingston
King Edward Hotel 72 * 18 1922* Toronto E.J. Lennox
22 Front Street West (Gowans-Kent Building) 60 * 15 1923 Toronto MacVicar and Heriot
330 Bay Street 64 * 16 1925 Toronto Chapman and Oxley
Manulife South Tower 56 * 14 1926 Toronto Henry Sproatt
National Building*[1] (demolished Dec. 11, 2006; facades

to be re-erected as part of future Bay Adelaide Centre)

48 * 12 1926 Toronto Chapman and Oxley
Queen's Quay Terminal 43 13 1926 Toronto Moores and Dunford
Dominion Building* 48 * 12 1927 Toronto T.W. Fuller
Victoria Tower 84 * 21 1927 Toronto
350 Bay Street 52 * 13 1928 Toronto S.B. Coon and Son
Canada Building (Windsor) 70 14 1928 Windsor
Concourse Building 68 16 1928 Toronto Baldwin and Greene
Ford Hotel 48 m* 12 1928 Toronto
302 Bay Street 43 13 1929 Toronto Curry and Spadling
Park Hyatt South 68 * 17 1929 Toronto Hugh Holman
Pigott Building 64 18 1929 Hamilton Prack and Prack
Prudential House 64 * 16 1929 Toronto Kaplan and Sprachman
Royal York Hotel 124 28 1929 Toronto Ross and Macdonald
Sterling Tower 84 * 21 1929 Toronto Chapman and Oxley
Tip Top Tailors Building 48 11 1929 Toronto Bishop and Miller
Old Toronto Star Building* 88 * 22 1929 Toronto Chapman and Oxley
Balfour Building 48 12 1930 Toronto Benjamin Brown
Canada Permanent Trust Building 77 18 1930 Toronto Henry Sproatt
Commerce Court North Building 145 34 1930 Toronto Pearson and Darling
Merchandise Building 56 * 14 1930 Toronto Burke, Horwood and White
Private Patients Pavilion (Bell Wing)* Toronto General Hospital 40 * 10 1930 Toronto Pearson and Darling
Victory Building 80 * 20 1930 Toronto Baldwin and Greene
Canada Life Building 87 15 1931 Toronto Sproatt and Rolph
Maple Leaf Gardens 50 1931 Toronto Ross and Macdonald
Christ the King Cathedral 52 1933 Hamilton Hutton and Souter
Whitney Block 64 * 16 1933 Toronto Francis R. Heakes
Princess Margaret Hospital 72 * 18 1935 Toronto Henry Sproatt
Toronto Western Hospital 64 * 16 1935 Toronto

Ottawa[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
Rideau Hall 3 1838 Ottawa Thomas McKay
Canadian Museum of Nature 50 4 1912 Ottawa David Ewart
Chateau Laurier 57 11 1912 Ottawa Bradford Lee Gilbert, Ross and Macfarlane
Centre Block of Canadian Parliament 92 13 First finished in 1865. Only library remains of original building after fire of 1916. Completed again in 1927. Ottawa John A. Pearson and Jean-Omer Marchand
Supreme Court of Canada 47 4 1939 Ottawa Ernest Cormier

Quebec[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
Notre-Dame Basilica 75 1829 Montreal James O'Donnell
Marché Bonsecours 45 2 1847 Montreal William Footner and George Browne
St. Patrick's Basilica 69 1847 Montreal P. L. Morin and Félix Martin
Saint-Pierre-Apôtre Church 72 1853 Montreal Victor Bourgeau
Mary Queen of the World Cathedral 71 1886 Montreal Joseph Michaud
Christ Church Cathedral 70 1859 Montreal Frank Wills
Montreal City Hall 41 5 1878 Montreal Eugène-Étienne Taché
Parliament building 52 8 1886 Québec City Eugène-Étienne Taché
New York Life Insurance Building 50 11 1888 Montreal Babb, Cook and Willard
Canada Express Building 40 10 1908 Montreal Hutchison and Wood
Linton Apartments 40 10 1908 Montreal Samuel Arnold Finley and David Jerome Spence
Eastern Township Bank Building 40 10 1909 Montreal
Insurance Exchange Building (1910) 40 10 1910 Montreal
Transportation Building* 40 10 1911 Montreal
Yorkshire Building 40 10 1911 Montreal Saxe and Archibald
La Sauvegarde Building 40 10 1914 Montreal Saxe and Archibald
Drummond Building 40 10 1915 Montreal Howard Colton Stone
Windsor Station 60 15 1916 Montreal Bruce Price
1 Avenue du Port 58 14 1922 Montreal
Medical Arts Building 40 11 1922 Montreal Ross and Macdonald
Tour de l'Horloge 45 1922 Montreal
Insurance Exchange Building (1924) 44 11 1924 Montreal David Jerome Spence
Le Chateau Apartments 54 15 1926 Montreal Harold Lea Featherstonhaugh;
Ross and Macdonald
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré 91 1923 Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Chateau Frontenac 80 18 1893 Québec City Bruce Price
Confederation Building 44 11 1928 Montreal Ross and Macdonald
Hôtel-Dieu de Québec 60 * 15 1928 Québec City
Tour de la Banque Royale 121 22 1928 Montreal York and Sawyer
Dominion Square Building 48 * 12 1929 Montreal Ross and Macdonald
Bell Telephone Building 96 22 1929 Montreal Ernest, Isabell, Barott and Blackader
Montreal Star Building 45 12 1930 Montreal Ross and Macdonald
Édifice Price 82 18 1930 Québec City Ross and Macdonald
University Tower 57 15 1930 Montreal Ernest Cormier
Aldred Building 97 23 1931 Montreal Barott and Blackader
Édifice Jean-Antoine-Panet (Quebec Ministry of Agriculture) 43 8 1931 Québec City
Sun Life Building 122 24 1931 Montreal Darling, Pearson and Cleveland
Architects' Building 68 17 1932 Montreal Ross and Macdonald
1425 René-Lévesque Boulevard (Hotel Ford) 48 * 12 1934 Montreal J. Foster Warner
Édifice André-Laurendeau 52 11 1934 Québec City Lacroix, Drouin, and Bergeron

Saskatchewan[edit]

Building Height
[m]
Floors Built City Architect
Hotel Saskatchewan 45 12 1927 Regina Ross and Macdonald
Hotel Bessborough 56 * 14 1935 Saskatoon Archibald Schofield

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Baker, Marilyn, Manitoba's Third Legislative Building: Symbol in Stone:The Art and Politics of a Public Building, Hyperion Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba 1986
  • Cameron, Stanley, Stones of History: Canada's Houses of Parliament, Film Board of Canada
  • Denby & Kilbourn, Toronto Observed: Its Architecture, Patrons, and History,Oxford University Press, Toronto 1986
  • Edwards, Gregory, Hidden Cities: Art & Design in Architectural Details of Vancouver & Victoria, Talonbooks, Vancouver, BC 1991
  • Kalman, Phillips and Ward, Exploring Vancouver: The Essential Architectural Guide, UBC Press, Vancouver 1993
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Architectural Sculpture in America, unpublished manuscript
  • McHugh, Patricia, Toronto Architecture: A City Guide, McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto 1989
  • McMullen, Barbara, Ottawa's Terra Cotta Architecture: Two Walking Tours, Heritage Ottawa, Ottawa, 2003
  • Maitland, Hucker & Ricketts, A Guide to Canadian Architectural Styles, broadview press, Peterborough, ON 1992
  • Taggart, Jim, The Architecture of Downtown Victoria, Blue Steps - Pacific Walking Tour Guides, Vancouver, BC 2000
  • skyscraperpage.com
  • emporis.com
  • The Notman Archives.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ National Building (Toronto) heritage designation (PDF)