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About RBC > History > Celebrating Our History > Quick to the Frontier

Quick to the Frontier

Book Chapters for Download

Quick to the Frontier is the story of our beginnings as a regional bank to our first steps as a diversified financial services company. Our story is told not only in terms of notable personalities and corporate strategies, but also through an exploration of our corporate culture. The book focuses on our history from incorporation in 1869 to the early 1990s and was written in celebration of our 125th anniversary in 1994.

Chapter Title Date

(opens PDF in new window) Quick to the Frontier


(opens PDF in new window) “Always Moving, Alive and Active”

Chapter One:

(opens PDF in new window) “The Little Bank in the Big Building”

Chapter Two:

(opens PDF in new window) “Our Progressive Ideas”: Going National

1887 - 1908
Chapter Three:

(opens PDF in new window) “His Good and Faithful Behaviour”: Working for the Bank

1880 - 1930
Chapter Four:

(opens PDF in new window) “In Union There Is Strength”: Growth Through Amalgamation

1908 - 1925
Chapter Five:

(opens PDF in new window) “Deep in the Gulf Stream”: International Banking

1899 - 1930
Chapter Six:

(opens PDF in new window) “The Top of the Tree”: The Challenge of Maturity

1914 - 1929
Chapter Seven:

(opens PDF in new window) “No Glory in Being Head of a Bank”: The Depression

1930 - 1939
Chapter Eight:

(opens PDF in new window) “Our Patriotic Duty”: Banking for Victory and Peace

1939 - 1949
Chapter Nine:

(opens PDF in new window) “The Wave of Optimism”: Jimmy Muir’s Royal Bank

1950 – 1960
Chapter Ten:

(opens PDF in new window) “The Right the Right Spots”: Royal Banking in a Changed Canada

1960 - 1980

(opens PDF in new window) Banking in the Global Village


Leading By Example – Our Recent Past

Quick to the Frontier was written for our 125th anniversary in 1994. We continue the journey with a view of the decades that followed.

View history from 1990 to present


Did You Know


During the first winter after Edmonton, Alberta branch opened, the only heat came from a wood stove, lit every morning by the bank's junior clerk. The junior's next duty was to melt the ink over the stove so that the staff could commence work.