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The Bank of Toronto

The Bank of Toronto

 

            Founded in 1855 by a group of grain and flower dealers, the Bank of Toronto, grew rapidly and flourished notwithstanding the 1857 depression, opening rural branches throughout Ontario and Montreal by 1859. Catering to a conservative manufacturing base, the bank kept slow but constant growth through the third quarter of the century, only beginning to make riskier investments with the advent of large-scale manufacturing and production in the 1880’s. Expansion continued to British Columbia in 1899 where the bank catered to mining interests sparked by the gold discoveries in the region. Continued stable growth throughout the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries ended in 1929. The bank finally returned to a stable situation around 1938, just in time to take a significant part in the issuance and marketing of war bonds in aid to the government of Canada. In 1955 the Bank of Toronto amalgamated with the Dominion bank to form the Toronto-Dominion Bank. This was the first time either bank bought, or joined with, any other institution, and the merger has been known since as a “marriage of equals”. TD is now either the first or second bank in Canada depending on the metric considered. Banknotes were first issued in 1856, and production ceased in 1937 after a period of activity of 81 years.