Then and now: A look at TD branch transit 0001

A view from the top: Completed in 1931, 220 Dundas Street in London, Ontario was once considered a skyscraper. The structure's art deco design and modern amenities were quite the attraction, drawing in almost 30,000 guests to the building's grand open house tour.

A view from the top: Completed in 1931, 220 Dundas Street in London, Ontario was once considered a skyscraper. The structure's art deco design and modern amenities were quite the attraction, drawing in almost 30,000 guests to the building's grand open house tour.


Have you ever wondered which branch has the transit number 0001?

Okay, let's back up a second. What's a transit number?

At the bottom of your cheques, there are three sets of numbers. There's your unique seven-digit account number. Just to the left of that is the institution number (for all TD customers, that number is 004).

And then there's the transit number, a four-digit number that indicates the home branch where that account was opened. Within TD, the transit number is the unique identifier for each branch.

Across TD, there are more than 1150 branches, so we need a lot of numbers. But it all starts somewhere - and there's one branch that has the first transit number: 0001.

So where is it?

You can find Branch 0001 on the corner of Dundas and Clarence Streets in London, Ontario, inside an almost 90 year-old-building near City Hall.

But how did Branch 0001 earn that distinction? How did it get the lowest possible transit number?

The branch originally served as the headquarters and main branch of Huron and Erie Mortgage Corporation—which later became Canada Trust (TD acquired Canada Trust in 2000).

Now and then: The construction of 220 Dundas is see in this (right) image on December 26, 1930—just shortly before it's completion. Despite changes and growth to London's downtown, the location of Branch 0001 remains the same, marking the building as an important landmark in the city to this day

Now and then: The construction of 220 Dundas is seen in this (right) image on December 26, 1930—just shortly before it's completion. Despite changes and growth to London's downtown, the location of Branch 0001 remains the same, marking the building as an important landmark in the city to this day. Left photo credit: Farhi Holdings Corporation | www.fhc.ca

The nine-story structure that houses the branch was designed by architects Watt and Blackwell and was completed in 1931. The grand opening of 220 Dundas included a celebration dinner at the now demolished Hotel London, while an open house tour provided approximately 30,000 people a first-hand glimpse inside what was then considered the tallest building in the Western Ontario region.

Today, branch 0001 still exists in the same location; its four-digit transit number hinting at its significant historical mark in the community. Now known as TD Canada Trust, it has also cemented itself as the bank's oldest Canada Trust branch. 

"So much history can be seen simply by looking at and walking through the building," said branch manager Kevin Bertoia, referring to the many original features that exist throughout the building to this day.

While art deco embellishments are still prominent, the branch's original elevator and vault are still in use — the latter containing several enclosed rooms and safety deposit boxes of various sizes that Bertoia described as "something reminiscent of what you would expect to see on a film set."

Beyond the intricate building designs and features, it's the presence of two bronze embossed plaques commemorating those who served in WWI and WWII that Bertoia, a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces and a combat veteran himself, said serves as a visible reminder of the bank's deep roots in the community.

"It's a reflection that those who answer the call come from all walks of life including bankers," he said.

Today, TD remains an active partner in the community, supporting various events and organizations including London Sunfest, United Way London & Middlesex among others.

"TD has been a proud member of the London community for more than 100 years and it is our privilege to serve the community and our customers," said Shane Kennedy, Vice President Market Leader for Southwest Ontario.