Date of construction: 1878
In 1877, the Independent Order of Oddfellows outgrew their original premises at Wharf and Langley and purchased this site next to the Clarence Hotel. The contract was awarded to Hayward and Jenkinson contractors and the corner stone was laid on December 30, 1878. The upper floor contained a large ornate meeting hall which was illuminated by gas and heated by wood and coal.
Architect John Teague was instructed to draw plans “in accordance with the Fraternal Order’s basic requirements” with the proviso that the Hall “was not to conflict with, but should compliment, the existing Clarence Hotel.” The total cost including the architect’s fee was $16,317.42. The Hall was finished on time – October 31, 1879 and dedicated on March 11, 1880.
A subsequent fire necessitated the removal of the original front face of the building, so none of the original facade remains. However, the upper meeting was painstakingly restored during a three-year period ending in 1987. The geometric designs on the molded plaster ceiling were repainted in their original brilliant colors and the water-colour frescos in the cove of the ceiling that had been covered with chicken wire to prevent falling plaster, have been brightened with a dry cleaning process. The chandeliers were taken down and restored to their former beauty, the old wallpaper was replaced and the ornamental wainscoting and the great entrance doors were refinished.
The retail outlets on the main floor have varied over the years. In 1907, the firms were: William Wilby – fancy goods store, William B. Hall – grocer, Hallam and Wyndham Ltd – tea and coffee importers, W. H. Adams – sporting goods, and James Maynard – boots and shoes.
The latter was the nephew of Richard Maynard who had come to Victoria in 1862 with his wife Hannah and family and also operated a boot and shoe business (his wife Hannah ran her photograph business from the same location). They were first located at the northeast corner of Douglas and Johnson, then moved to their new building at 723 Pandora in 1891.
1317 Douglas Street was known for years as Rose’s Jewelers. The storefront was considered a good example of Commercial Modern architecture, having been remodeled in the 1920s. It featured black vitrolite panels and plate glass with metal mullions.
1313 Douglas Street was, for many years, the site of Paul’s Restaurant, one of a chain of fine eating establishments owned by Paul and Lydia Arsens.
Today, there are a variety of outlets including a restaurant, a hair salon, and a dollar store, with the IOOF Hall still upstairs.
This Hallmark Heritage Society project was funded by the HBC Foundation and the BC150-Heritage Legacy Fund
Project manager and researcher: Helen Edwards
Principal Photography & Consultant: Ron Bukta, West Ventures Photography