Travelling Back In Time: Centurian Observation Deck

Everyone has their first bank. It’s the place where you get your first bank account and bank card, or in my case because I’m considered an “older millennial”, a bank book. Regardless, signing up with your first bank is a right of passage. It’s when you finally enter into an age of responsibility. 

As a kid, I always wanted to be “older”, so finally getting my own bank account was a big deal. And somehow the psychological event it had on me was that it made me obsessed with saving. Weird right?! I have to say, I’m quite thankful for that now. 

My first bank, CIBC, remains my bank today. I log into my mobile banking app about once a day, the tellers at my branch are like family to me, and I continue to invest with them. There’s just a feeling of home that’s linked to CIBC

SoI was thrilled to be partnering with them this year to celebrate not only Canada’s 150th birthday (woot!), but also CIBC’s 150th birthday! Established a mere 6 weeks before Canada’s Confederation, CIBC and Canada share the same birth year, which I think is pretty darn cool. 

As a part of their birthday celebrations, they’ve sparked a discussion – and a very Canadian discussion at that. 


CIBC is putting their efforts towards encouraging Canadians to share their love to Canada – to spark a conversation of appreciation, of discovery, and of pride for this amazing country we’re all blessed to call home. 

Canada means so much to each and every one of us, but in so many different ways. And this campaign is all about sharing that diverse love, just like our diverse people. Every single time you post on social media with the #StandForCanada hashtag, you join so many other Canadians in their declaration. Whether it’s your connection to our incredible nature, our welcoming inclusivity, our pride, our love, or just plain admiration for our landscape… we’re all be celebrating TOGETHER. And that’s the important part. 

For me, the biggest thing about my love for Canada is the love and the embrace of diversity that we all embody. We take it for granted, but our country is one of the most beautifully diverse in the world. And we celebrate that. Growing up as a young Chinese girl in a mostly Caucasian school, I sometimes felt excluded. But I soon realized that just because I looked different didn’t mean I was any less Canadian. And today, as an adult, I truly feel like our diverse perspectives actually add so much value to the business, institutions, and society of our country. 



Last week, to kick things off, CIBC opened up its historical vaults to share some of their story. Not only that, but they also opened its doors to its observation deck on the 32nd floor of their Commerce Court Building. It wraps around 360 degrees around the building and has actually been closed for 50 years… until now. 


We ran into our girl, Lauren, from This Renegade Love up there too!

We also got to witness and get really close to a bunch of really cool historic pieces. Here are some highlights of all the exciting stuff we got to see!

Banking Hall Chandelier

Lowered from the ceiling for an up-close and personal photo opp, this gorgeously built and ornate center piece structure is overwhelmingly beautiful. 

1850 Bank Security Musket

We actually got to pick it up! It was used by the Hamilton-based Fore Bank as protection when carrying money parcels from one office to another. Could you imagine?! 

Banking in the ol’ days

Queen Victoria’s seal, a vintage boardroom chair, and currency that banks used to print and sign (manually!) were all a part of this amazing impromptu museum. 

It was amazing not only to see all of these things, but also to learn more about Canadian history. You placed yourself in these people’s shoes, more than a century back. For me, it almost felt like I was hearing their story alongside CIBC’s

Thank you so much to CIBC for having us. An amazing sense of Canadian pride swept over me after the event. I’m truly so proud to be Canadian… and a part of the CIBC family. 

Join in on the discussion by posting on any social channel with the hashtag #STANDFORCANADA

This entire event really made you appreciate our roots. It made you think about how different life used to be and how far we’ve come as a society. Most of all, seeing it with all the other people in the room, it made you realize how amazingly diverse we all are and how THAT is the core of who we are as Canadians. We’re a beautiful mosaic. 

mel inspired