Places and buildings

Dominion Square Building: an architectural landmark

Dominion Square is one of the most remarkable buildings built in Montréal in the 1920s. Commissioned by a group of Montréal investors and constructed in 1928-1929, it was designed by the famous architectural firm of Ross & Macdonald, following a modern plan integrating ornements of greco-roman style. When it was built it was the largest office building in Canada.

The Dominion Square Building in 1936.
© Ville de Montréal, Archives

The building had two façades: one on Sainte-Catherine Street and the other on Dominion Square (later Dorchester), from which it took its name. It rose twelve floors above ground and had four more underground to hold a huge garage. The largest part of the building had a double-comb shape, giving it three wings on each side.

A highly original feature of the Dominion Square Building, at the time, was its large and elegant indoor shopping gallery spread over two floors, the second of which was accessible via wooden escalators, the very first ones in Montréal. The offices on the other ten floors were reached by means of eight fast automated elevators.

The elevators.

According to architectural historian Jacques Lachapelle, all of these traits made Dominion Square the true precursor of Place Ville Marie and other complexes subsequently built in Montréal. Located at 1010 Ste-Catherine street West, it is now an office building.

				Dominion Square Building: an architectural landmark
				L’immeuble Dominion Square : un joyau architectural

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Sainte-Catherine: A Street at the Heart of Montréal