This building, erected in the red brick commercial style in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, was initially associated with the Bank of London. It may have been built specifically to house this ill-fated bank which folded after only a couple of years. The Bank of Toronto occupied this building next, following several years throughout which the edifice was left vacant. The Bank of Toronto first opened its doors at these premises in 1887. In 1896 the Bank of Toronto moved to George Hiscox's new four- storey building at the southwest corner of King and Richmond Streets and remained there for several decades. 167, Dundas was then occupied and remains largely associated with Cook's Shoes.
Joseph P. Cook opened his shoe store at 167, Dundas in 1900, and the Cooks' were in business until 1990. Philip Cook, Joseph's father, was a shoemaker in London in the 1860s. This was a time when the city's three biggest shoe factories each employed over 100 people, more than any other industry in town except Mc Clary's, the famous stove company with an international reputation. Philip Cook had left the factory around 1865 and subsequently struck out on his own.
Cook's Shoes, along with other family-run businesses, such as Kingsmill's, Scott's, Boughner's, Rowland Hill and Wendell Holmes, were all once familiar and easily recognizable names that instantly spelt out "London, Canada."