Under the Sun: Dominion Square's Insurance Showcase

Type of resource
Under the Sun: Dominion Square's Insurance Showcase
The author begins by giving a brief outline of the founding of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada by Matthew Hamilton Gault (1882-1887). Although incorporated in 1865, the company -- originally known as the Sun Mutual Life Insurance Company of Montreal -- did not commence business until 1871. In 1882, the company's name was changed to the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. In 1884, Robertson Maculay (1833-1915) became Sun Life's managing director, and the company began expanding throughout the British Empire, the Far East, and the United States. By 1920, it had offices in 55 countries. The author's primary focus is on the history and expansions of the Sun Life Assurance Building on Montreal's Dominion (now Dorchester) Square. Constructed in three phases between 1913 and 1933, it was by 1933 both the largest building in Montreal and in the British Empire. The author notes that by the 1970s, Sun Life was the largest employer of English-speaking people in Montreal. Following the election of the sovereigntist Parti Québécois in 1976 and the enactment the following year of The Charter of the French Language (aka Bill 101), Sun Life caused a political uproar in French Quebec in 1978 when it moved its head-office to Toronto. Today, the company, now known as Sun Life Financial Inc., maintains a branch office in Montreal's Sun Life Building, one of many tenants in the building.
Quebec Heritage News
Vol. 16
no. 3
Summer 2022
Stock, Sandra. “Under the Sun: Dominion Square’s Insurance Showcase.” Quebec Heritage News, Summer 2022.
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