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Toronto (Ont.)

The Canadian Bank of Commerce

  • Corporate body
  • 1867 - 1961

In 1866 a group of businessmen, including William McMaster, purchased a charter from the defunct Bank of Canada, which had folded in 1858. The Canadian Bank of Commerce was founded the following year, issued stock, and opened its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario.
The bank soon opened branches in London, St. Catharines and Barrie. During the following years, the bank opened more branches in Ontario, and took over the business of the local Gore Bank, before expanding across Canada through the acquisition of the Bank of British Columbia in 1901 and the Halifax Banking Company in 1903.
By 1907 the Canadian Bank of Commerce had 172 branches. By the beginning of World War II, this had expanded to 379 branches.
During the First World War, 1,701 staff from the Canadian Bank of Commerce enlisted in the war effort.
The Canadian Bank of Commerce merged with the Imperial Bank of Canada in 1961 to form the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).