How Odd . . .

What is visible of one side of cornerstone - Odd Fellows Hall, West Pender at Hamilton. Author's photo, 2014.

What is visible of Pender St side of cornerstone – Odd Fellows Hall, West Pender at Hamilton. Author’s photo, 2014

This image shows what remains of the Pender Street side of the cornerstone at the Odd Fellows Hall at Hamilton and Pender. The structure was built for the IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellows), a secret fraternal society akin to that of the Masons, in 1906. That year of completed construction appeared on the Hamilton Street side of the cornerstone, but it is now almost completely worn off. I suspect that this cornerstone has had such a hard life due mainly to the corrosive nature of anti-graffiti cleaning agents that have probably been used more than once on the corner of the building over the years; and to the relative susceptibility of the building’s sandstone cladding to those cleaners. In its earliest years, the building’s main floor was leased to the Lyric Theatre (1907- ?). A later commercial tenant was Wrigley’s Directories, which made its home at the Odd Fellows Hall when the Stuart Thomson image below was made.

1931 CVA 99-4107 - #1AFF6F3

CVA 99-4107 Odd Fellows Hall (at corner Pender and Hamilton), 1931. Stuart Thomson photo. (Zoom on cornerstone is shown here in the inset image. Note: “A.D. 1906” on Hamilton St. side of cornerstone is no longer discernible (2014)).

Miller Bros., a sailmaking business, operated in the upper floor of the IOOF building (from the Hamilton St. side – 505 Hamilton) in the late 1950s and early 1960s – and perhaps later. The large open space was well-suited to sewing sails (see interior of Miller Bros. below).

vpl41506 Miller Bros (sailmakers) interior 196-

VPL 41506. Miller Bros (sailmakers) Interior, 196-.

In 2014, the London School of Hairdressing and Aesthetics is training future hairdressers and barbers in the old Odd Fellows Hall.


VPL 5368. Odd Fellows’ Hall under constn. 1906. P T Timms photo.

This entry was posted in interiors, schools/colleges/universities, street scenes, stuart thomson and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How Odd . . .

  1. The actual name of the organization and the building is the Independent not International Order of Odd Fellows. Not a huge issue, but it’s nice to have it right. The Vancouver Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is now located up at 1443 West 8th. Be happy to show you around.

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