First Canadian Place
First Canadian Place is a skyscraper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At 298 metres, or 978 feet (355 metres with antenna included), it is Canada's tallest skyscraper and the eleventh tallest building in North America. It is the third tallest free-standing structure in Canada, after CN Tower, also in Toronto, and the Inco Superstack in Sudbury, Ontario.
First Canadian Place is located in Toronto's financial district at the northwest corner of King and Bay streets, the centre of Canadian financial industry. It is home to the Toronto headquarters of the Bank of Montreal, the oldest Canadian bank (hence the 'first').
The architect was Bregman + Hamann Architects and the design consultant was Edward Durrell Stone. The building is noted for its white stone finish, unusual in a city of glass, steel, and concrete surfaces. There are six hundred tons of Italian white marble on each floor. When built it was 8th tallest building in the world (currently 38th) to structural top and tallest building in the world outside of Chicago and New York. It was also the tallest building in the Commonwealth of Nations until the completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. The Bank of Montreal "M-bar" logo at the top of the building was the highest sign in the world from 1975 until overtaken by the sign atop CITIC Plaza in 1997. First Canadian Place is nearly identical in apperance to the Aon Center in Chicago, Illinois. Completed two years previous as the Standard Oil Building, and also designed by Durrell Stone, the Chicago tower is of the same floor plan, only 9 meters taller, and clad in the same Italian Carrara marble, the only visible difference being the vertical orientation of the windows, as opposed to the horizontal run of the windows on First Canadian Place. Forshadowing what would take place with First Canadian Place in 2007, just one year after the completion of the Standard Oil Building, one of the marble slabs detatched, fell, and penetrated the roof of a neighbouring building. From 1992 to 1994, the entire Aon Center was reclad in white granite.
The building was constructed in 1975 (originally named First Bank Building), at the site of the Old Toronto Star Building. It was the last of corners of King and Bay to be redeveloped and a major bidding war began over who would redevelop the site after the Star left. This battle was won by the then little known firm of Olympia and York. However the election of reformist mayor David Crombie led to new rules banning skyscrapers. It took three years of lobbying before permission for the tower was granted.
The building is on the PATH system and has 29 elevators. The roof contains a number of antennas used for radio and television broadcasting. The façade was altered for the first time in 2004, when the former blue bank logo was replaced with blue BMO lettering and the new white-and-red logo.
The street address is 100 King Street West Toronto, ON
During an intense storm in the evening of May 15, 2007, a piece of the white marble panel (measuring 1 metre by 1.2 metres and weighing 140kg (300 pounds) fell from the 60th storey of the tower's southern face onto the 3rd floor mezzanine roof below. Authorities closed surrounding streets as a precaution.