Sun Life Building

Sun Life Building
Sun Life Building
General information
Type Office
Location Montreal, Quebec Canada
Coordinates 45°30′0.75″N 73°34′12.81″W / 45.5002083°N 73.570225°W / 45.5002083; -73.570225Coordinates: 45°30′0.75″N 73°34′12.81″W / 45.5002083°N 73.570225°W / 45.5002083; -73.570225
Completed 1931
Roof 122 m (400 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 24
Design and construction
Architect Darling, Pearson and Cleveland

The Sun Life Building is a historic office building on Dorchester Square (1155 Metcalfe Street) in downtown Montreal, Canada.


History and construction

The building was finished in 1931 after three stages of construction. It was built exclusively for the Sun Life Insurance Company. It measures 122 metres (400 ft) in height and counts 24 storeys. Although the then-new head office of the Royal Bank of Canada at 360 Saint Jacques Street in Montreal was taller by several floors, the Sun Life Building was at the time the largest building in terms of square footage anywhere in the British Empire. The Sun Life Building went through three different stages of construction, the first one starting as early as 1913, but it was not until 1931 that its main 24-storey tower was erected, thus completing the project.

The stages of construction were as follows:

  • 1913–1918: 7-story southern part of base;
  • 1923–1926: extension of base eastward and northward; and
  • 1929–1931: 16-story set-back tower.


Today, the "Sun Life" is Montreal's 17th tallest building and stands in the middle of the central business district centred on Dorchester Square, dwarfed by neighbouring Place Ville-Marie and the nearby CIBC building.

Previous building

The first Sun Life Building, designed by Buffalo architect Richard Waite, was built in 1889 and expanded by Robert Findlay in 1890. The red brick building was home to Sun Life until 1913, when the company moved to the first stage of the newer building.

See also

  • List of old Canadian buildings (1809-1939)
  • List of old Montreal buildings (1829-1939)


  • Rémillard, François, Old Montreal: A Walking Tour, Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec, 1992

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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