335 Donald Street (at the corner of Donald Street and Ellice Avenue)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Built in 1895 to house the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, it was the only Masonic Temple in Canada at the time. No expense was spared to construct a building that would stand for decades. The only building in Canada designed and built by Masons for Masons.
Masons officially came to Manitoba in 1864,. A branch of the Grand Lodge Of Minnesota, several prominent Winnipeggers were officers. This lodge received its own charter in 1866 but was short lived, being disbanded in 1870 due to the Riel confrontations. Freemasonry returned to Winnipeg in 1870, when Winnipeg's first lodge, Prince Rupert's Lodge No. 240, was established. The location of this lodge changed several times, finally moving into the Western Canada Loans and Saving Company Building in 1894. Unfortunately, that same year this building burned down. This was the incentive for Masons deciding to construct their own Temple.
Masons quickly embarked on building, breaking ground on July 17, 1895 at 335 Donald Street. Situated near the downtown, it was also close to the Hudson's Bay Company Reserve where many of its members lived. The building was designed by George Creeford Browne, a Montreal born architect who was also a Mason. Fresh off of his successful design of Wesley College, which is now part of the University of Winnipeg, he was known for his use of brick and symmetry. For the three storey Masonic Temple Browne blended the Romanesque Revival style with classical elements, creating a pleasing and balanced appearance. Costing approximately $22,000 at that time to build, it consisted of a rough stone foundation supporting cream brick facades with Selkirk limestone accents denoting "MASONIC TEMPLE" high above the front entrance. Inside, a library, offices, banquet hall, kitchen, meeting halls and more were all furnished with the finest materials.
The Masonic Temple was in use by the Masons until 1969, when they departed for their newly built home at 420 Corydon Avenue.
The original exterior of the Donald St. building has been retained but the interior has recently been renovated for commercial use.
Original drawing for the Masonic Temple, Winnipeg.
Cornerstone Ceremony for Winnipeg Masonic Temple.
Winnipeg Masonic Temple as it appears today. The building is no longer used as a Masonic Lodge.
Scottish Rite Cathedral and Club
4 Queen Street S., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
The property now occupied by The Scottish Rite Club of Hamilton, Ontario was acquired by James Mills in 1816. The frame farmhouse built by the Mills family was soon replaced by a brick home in 1820 known as “The Homestead”. The Homestead stood exactly where the Cathedral portion of The Scottish Rite building now stands. In 1884, the property was acquired by George E. Tuckett of the Tuckett Tobacco Company. Tuckett built his home, known as “Myrtle Hall”, where the Grand Lodge building now stands. Myrtle Hall survived until the late 1950s, when it was demolished to make way for the new portion of this structure.
In 1895, George T. Tuckett, the son of George E. Tuckett, built his own family home. Known as “The Towers,” it was designed by Hamilton architect James Balfour. The Towers now forms the Club portion of The Scottish Rite building. The magnificent woodwork in the club was done by John Hoodless and Sons, a prominent furniture manufacturer in Hamilton at the time. Hoodless also built the incredible Tuckett Family dining room table, which was custom built for the dining room in which it still sits.
George T. Tuckett passed away in 1913. The property was used as a military headquarters and hospital during World War One, and was then acquired by The Scottish Rite Masons in 1920. The Cathedral portion of the building was built over the winter of 1922 to 1923, and was designed by the firm of Osgood and Osgood from Grand Rapids, Michigan. There is an interior twin to the Cathedral in Bay City, Michigan.
The beautiful Casavant Frères pipe organ in the Cathedral was installed with the opening of the building in 1923. This instrument has over 3000 pipes and is still used on a regular basis. It carries Casavant builder’s #972. There is a set of 55 backdrops in the stage area of the Cathedral. These were acquired in 1923 and are now over 100 years old.
When planning a trip to Ontario, Canada, include the Scottish Rite Cathedral and Club as a destination.
The interior stage of the Scottish Rite Cathedral and Club as it appears today. This building has been in continuous use by Scottish Rite Masons for a hundred years.
Scottish Rite Temple, Balboa, Canal Zone
Inscription on back reads: "Home of Chugas Lodge, AF&AM
“Scottish Rule 1915. First officers under charter.”
The Scottish Rite Building is one of the very few "privately" built and owned buildings in the Canal Zone. Currently this building is occupied by the Teatro Inida for the Performing Arts.
Freemasonry in the Canal Zone
Near the end 1913 there was a membership of 239. This peaked at 4,036 in 1962 and as of September 30, 1977, the membership stood at 3,542. The period of 1943 to 1948 were the busiest years, when a total of 2,127 were initiated. These were the years during and just after World War II.
York Rite Masonry was introduced as early as 1910 when a dispensation was issued for Canal Zone Chapter No. 1, Royal Arch Masons, located on the Pacific side, and on October 30, 1916, one was issued for Canal Zone Chapter No. 2 located on the Atlantic side. Canal Zone Commandery No. 1, K. T. and Canal Zone Council No. 1, R. & S.M. followed in due time. Scottish Rite, under the Southern Jurisdiction, followed along with the Shrine. Abou Saad Temple, A.A.N.O.M.S. has one of the largest Jurisdictions of any Temple, as it includes Central and South America as well as Puerto Rico.
There are now four Chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star, two Chapters of DeMolay, and three Chapters of Rainbow for Girls. Two Chapters of National Sojourners and a Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine.
Masonry is still strong on the Isthmus but with the increased use of Panamanians in the Canal Organization and the resulting retirement of many Americans, attendance has decreased, resulting in the consolidation of Canal Zone and Isthmian Lodges into Canal Zone Isthmian Lodge in September, 1977.
Leonard Wood Lodge No.105
German Masonic firing glasses