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Opera House

159 Pleasant Street, Miramichi, New Brunswick, E1V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/04/28

Group photo of Orange Lodge members and band in front of Orange Hall (Opera House), 1904.; PANB, P6-294
Group photo in front of Orange Hall
The Opera House, front elevation, 2004.; City of Miramichi
Front elevation.
No Image

Other Name(s)

Opera House
Orange Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1903/01/01 to 1904/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Opera House is a two and a half storey Romanesque Revival style structure situated on a corner lot at 159 Pleasant Street in the City of Miramichi.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Opera House lies in association with its architect and builder, H.B. McDonald and his father John McDonald, respectively. As a young man, H.B. trained in the offices of Saint John architect R.C. John Dunn. His father, John McDonald, was a prominent local builder and sash and door factory owner. The construction of many public buildings, grand homes and businesses near the turn of the century in the Miramichi area can be accredited to John McDonald.

It was originally built for the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 47 and was known as The Orange Hall. It opened on March 14, 1904. Lodge members met above the theatre. The Opera House was a center for entertainment on circuit and featured many people of national recognition including Pauline Johnson, an aboriginal poetess who performed here in 1906 and 1908 and crediting her to be 'an impersonator and elocutionist'. A local newspaper of the day ran a notice in March of 1908 reminding the interested of a Spinsters' Convention at The Opera House. By 1909 moving pictures were being shown here.

Source: City of Miramichi, Heritage Office Site File: #05-30.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which define the structures' heritage character value include:
- continuous sandstone course lintel on front elevation;
- brick cornice work and brick arch work over windows;
- brick basket weave running course between first and second levels;
- wide eaves with returns;
- cornice work and brackets.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Community Planning Act

Recognition Type

Local Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub

Architect / Designer

Herbert McDonald


John McDonald

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Miramichi Heritage Office, Beaverbrook House - Site File# 05-30

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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