On June 23rd 1817 a group of merchants established the Bank of Montreal in a rented house in Montreal, Quebec. The Bank officially opened its doors for business on November 3rd 1817 making it the first bank in Canada.
The Bank participated in many of the developments spurring the growth of Canada such as the first canals, the Canadian Pacific Railway, major hydroelectric projects and the development of Canada’s energy and mining industries.
It was the banker in Canada for the Canadian Government from 1863 until the founding of the Bank of Canada in 1935.
It was also the first Canadian bank to establish a presence outside the country, with branches established in London and New York in 1818. In 1893 it was named the Canadian Government fiscal agent in Britain, a function it still performs.
Today, the Bank of Montreal is commonly known as BMO and has over 1,300 branches in Canada and overseas. It offers corporate, government, merchant and personal banking services with a variety of commercial and international services.