I feel that the value of a Corporate Collection is not just a matter of dollars or decoration. It is the commitment by the corporation of its concern for a fuller quality to life; an extra dimension is added to the normal business day by providing a stimulating and sometimes challenging environment for our staff, customers, and visitors.”- Allen Lambert, TD's Chairman and President in the 1960s
Allen Lambert recognized the potential for art to make personal connections and start conversations.
Inspired by the collection of a bank in New York, Mr. Lambert established an ambitious art collection at TD. Such a venture was unique in Canada when it was undertaken in the early 1960s.
From the beginning, the focus of the collection was contemporary Canadian artwork. The impetus to acquire a collection of contemporary art was the building of the Toronto-Dominion Centre, which became the TD head office in 1967. The Centre, designed by Mies van der Rohe, provided TD with an exciting modern building ideally suited to contemporary art.
The Inuit Collection was first assembled by the Bank to mark Canada's Centennial in 1967, with the idea of honouring Canada's past but also looking ahead to its future. The collection was also the vision of Allen Lambert, who developed a deep respect for Canada's North, its people, and its art when he served as a branch manager in Yellowknife in 1946-47. The TD Gallery of Inuit Art, opened in 1982, represents all regions of the Canadian Arctic, and showcases the finest contemporary Inuit artists and some of the most historically significant pieces.