Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple
101 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple is a three storey Classical Period Revival style building located on the main thoroughfare in downtown Nanaimo. The historic site is confined to the footprint of the building.
Purpose-built in 1923 as a meeting lodge and commercial space, the Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple is an excellent example of the Classical Period Revival style. In the Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple, the rigid symmetrical front elevation that typifies this style has been modified by the placement of the lodge entrance door at the extreme eastern side of the building. The door placement accommodates the ground-floor commercial space the Lodge depended on to cover building expenses. Characteristic elements of this style, such as the pediment over the lodge entry, were intended to suggest antiquity and permanence.
Still used for lodge meetings, the Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple exemplifies the historic and continuing importance of fraternal societies to the cultural, economic and social life of Nanaimo. The building occupies the same site as an earlier lodge that was built in 1873, the first Freemason's Lodge in British Columbia.
The Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple is part of a grouping of historic commercial buildings located on Nanaimo's main downtown thoroughfare. Its prominent corner location, with large storefront windows on both the front and side elevations, adds to its street presence.
The Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple is significant for its association with Alexander Ernest Henderson, best known, in partnership with George W. Grant, for the design of the Vancouver City Hospital (now known as the Heather Pavilion) of Vancouver General Hospital in 1903. Locally, Henderson also designed the Nanaimo Hospital.
Source: City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/101 Commercial Street
Character-defining elements of the Ashlar Lodge Masonic Temple include:
-all of the elements of the Classical Period Revival style as expressed by the simple form and massing, symmetrical facade, brick construction, minimal projecting elements and classical pediment over the lodge entry.
-the location on the main downtown thoroughfare at a prominent intersection within a grouping of heritage buildings.
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Architect / Designer
Alexander Ernest Henderson
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Nanaimo, Development Services Department, file #6800-20-H01-02/101 Commercial Street
Cross-Reference to Collection