The heritage value of the Balcer Building comes from its legacy as a landmark in downtown Trois-Rivières. This section of Notre-Dame Street has a long history of commerce. Since the foundation of the city in the 17th century, the area has been a natural hub for financial activities because of its location near the river, which was a channel for the transportation of goods.
Starting in the mid-19th century, the timber industry grew rapidly and the business district came alive. Several shops of all kinds sprang up on Forges Boulevard and Notre-Dame. In June 1908, a great fire ravaged the city and its buildings. The district had to undergo almost total reconstruction in the following months. The Balcer Building was constructed shortly after the fire, between 1908 and 1910.
The Balcer Fur Store was founded by Eugène Balcer in Trois-Rivières in 1854. As early as 1915, tram lines were constructed on Notre-Dame, and traffic in the district increased even more. The Bank of Montreal acquired the Balcer Building in 1925 and renovated it in 1931. While the building has had several occupants over the years, it has retained its original mixed use.
Today, the building is home to a hotel and remains a witness to the lively downtown area.