Iconic Montreal building turns 100

A building which was once the largest in square footage anywhere in the British Empire has reached its 100th anniversary.

Bentall Kennedy, property manager, on behalf of co-owners Sun Life Financial, Groupe Petra and Groupe Mach, marked the 100th anniversary of the Sun Life Building on October 24, 2018, at a special gathering of partners, tenants and friends.

"We are very honoured indeed to be celebrating this impressive architectural heritage, which symbolizes the vitality of Canada's and Montréal's business communities,” said Patrice Bourbonnais, Assistant to the President, Groupe Petra.

The cornerstone of the Sun Life Building in Montreal was laid in 1914 but it was 4 years later that the Sun Life Assurance Company moved to the original structure which occupied around two thirds of Dorchester Blvd.

The building included a banking hall at ground level, offices of executives on the 1st floor and other offices on the 2nd to 6th storeys. The first basement housed a state of the art security vault with mechanical rooms below.

Expansion in 1926 was followed by the building of the 450ft 26-storey North Tower in 1933; and there was a $150m retrofit to update the building through much of the 80s and 90s.

100 years of heritage – but still green
The iconic building, known across Canada, has been improved several times in terms of efficiency standards.

It is the first centennial building in North America to receive BOMA BEST Platinum certification, which recognizes properties for excellence and best practices in environmental performance and management.

This year it also received the TOBY Award, the most prestigious international distinction in the commercial real estate industry, as 2018 Building of the Year in the Historic Building category.

"This magnificent heritage building is notable not only for its architecture, but also as a model of energy efficiency. Although it is 100 years old, thanks to a process of continuous improvement, along with upgrades to its facilities and infrastructures, the Sun Life Building is ready for the 21st century,” said Yves-André Godon, Senior Vice-President, Montreal Region, Bentall Kennedy.


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