TRADERS BANK OF CANADA Yonge St. Toronto Savings Bank




Collections: Banking Memorabilia

Product type: Banking Memorabilia

Vendor: Britannianumismatics



TRADERS BANK OF CANADA Yonge St. Toronto Savings Bank measures 24 x 12.5 x20.5 cms. It has an end door and includes the rarely found inner metal box. The top has printed "Property Of The Traders Bank/ Of Canada Registered By/ A. Jarvis 1891/ The Traders Bank Sole Licensee". There are 4 slots near the top of one side where 4 depositors could deposit money or deposits of different denominations could be transacted. .

Value on the Traders Bank of Canada is determined by the number of finials and if the inside box is included and then the overall condition of the bank. A bank with all finials intact would have 12.

In the Ron Greene collection of savings banks offered by Charles Moore Auctions in 2013 it is stated that the bank is in pristine condition. Unfortunately the photos have been removed from iCollector. When I last had one of these banks for sale in 2019, I compared the two banks, and believe one entire section above the roof line was removed from one of the ends. Including the auction fees it sold for $3622.

The only other bank that I have been able to locate online was the Geoffrey Bell example offered by Geoffrey Bell Auctions in 2020. On the stationary end the entire top plate of trim above the roofline is broken off, but on the end that opens it is almost intact with only one finial missing. On this example it is reversed, the trim above the door is missing, but the other end is intact. The Bell example had 5 finials in total. Including the auction fees it sold for $2160.

The bank currently being offered has 7 finials, but where the lock would normally be attached is broken. (see photos)


by Len Buth from the Canadian Banking Memorabilia Society September 2019 newsletter

The savings bank issued by The Traders Bank of Canada may be considered the “grand dad” of the many savings banks put out by the various Canadian banks due to it’s size and the elaborate design, which was modeled from the Bank’s head office at the corner of Yonge and Colborne Streets in Toronto, Ontario. The Traders Bank of Canada began operations in 1885 and operated 126 branches throughout Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia at the time it was taken over by The Royal Bank of Canada in 1912. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and before government deposit insurance, banks occupied a precarious position in the eyes of the their customers. Unstable economic conditions often lead to deposit runs on the banks and to disaster. Banks were constantly attempting to boost public confidence in their operations and wished to portray their buildings as “temples of confidence” – strong and solid edifices that guarded their hard earned savings. What better way to create this impression than to cast their image in iron and in the form of a strong building.

It has been considered that The Traders Bank issued only about 1500 of these savings banks. Canadian banks, and other financial institutions, offered these savings banks to customers free of charge. The savings banks from the earlier dates created a “forced savings” as the bank kept the key (!) ensuring the funds ended up in the bank’s records! In the case of the Traders savings bank due it its size, a bank employee would go out and visit the customers on horse back to their home or place of business. The contents were counted and the appropriate entry made in the customer’s passbook. At the time of issue, Traders had an interesting advertisement for their savings bank which read “ a bank is brought within your very doors and the seeds of thrift and economy sown among your children and household.”
The Traders savings bank is not found very often and it is very difficult to find one with all the top finials in place, as they break easily. A perfect condition bank commands a price in the $2,500 - $3,000. range. They were made from cast iron, and nickel plated. The maker has not been identified to date.