Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years

 

Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Endangered
Top 10
2019

Jens Munk at Churchill
Field Trip:
Churchill
2020

Manitoba History No. 89
Manitoba
History

No. 89

War Memorials in Manitoba
War
Memorials
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old
Elevator

Abandoned Manitoba
Abandoned
Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans
Memorable
Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Masonic Temple / Mother Tucker’s Restaurant (335 Donald Street, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

Organized Freemasonry came to the Red River Valley in November 1864, over five years before Manitoba became a province and over two years before Canada became a nation. Initially the “Northern Light Lodge” was a branch of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, with John C. Schultz (protagonist to Louis Riel and later Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba) as Worshipful Master and A. G. B. Bannatyne and William Inkster as Wardens. In 1866, the lodge received its own charter from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota as No. 68. In May 1875, the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, the governing body for all other lodges in the province, received its charter. By 1894, the Grand Lodge occupied space on the top floor of the Western Canada Loan and Savings Company Building at the north-west corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street. A fire destroyed the building on 16 November 1894.

The Masons decided to build their own building as a new home for the Grand Lodge of Manitoba. Excavation at the corner of Donald and Ellice began in July 1895 on what was described as the only Masonic Temple in Canada, and only the second in North America. The cornerstone was laid on 15 August 1895. In the basement of the three-storey brick and stone structure, designed by local architect George Browne, were offices, library, banquet hall and kitchen, two large vaults, janitor’s residence, lavatory, and furnace room. On the second floor were meeting halls, a general waiting room, and small rooms for educational purposes. More meeting rooms were on the third floor. A high-ceilinged attic was intended for storage and two rooms for drills.

In 1969, the Masons moved to a newly built facility at Confusion Corner, taking with them commemorative plaques for Masons killed during military service. The old temple stood empty for a little over a year until, in September 1971, a restaurant and dance club called “The Rec Room” opened in it, featuring a “pulsating plexiglass dance floor.” This was the first use of the building by legendary Winnipeg businessman Oscar Grubert. Unfortunately, The Rec Room was not successful. Within five months of opening, Grubert reconfigured the operation and renamed it “GG’s Cabaret and Supper Club.” It fared only slightly better, closing after about two years. In April 1975, after renovations that included construction of a two-storey kitchen addition at the back of the existing building, it reopened as “Mother Tucker’s Food Experience.” The menu included such staples as prime rib, chicken, steak, shrimp and fish. All meals included “fresh baked bread, salad bar, whipped or scalloped potatoes, vegetables, fresh apple pie, and coffee, tea or milk.” The salad bar was a particularly noteworthy innovation, one of the first in the city, that made the restaurant popular for the next 25 years. In 1975, the Grand Lodge of Manitoba mounted a plaque on the building’s north exterior wall in commemoration of the first Masonic Temple building in Manitoba. In the 1990s, the high-ceilinged third floor was equipped with 110 theatre seats, a stage, and lighting for use in “bare-bones theatrical productions.”

Mother Tucker’s closed in 1999 then the building reopened as “Chris Walby’s Hog City,” a barbecue and sports bar named for the Blue Bombers player. It operated for less than a year. A Mexican-themed restaurant called “Blue Agave Tequilaria” closed at the end of 2003. The following year, the building was purchased by the owner of Pony Corral restaurants, who promised to restore the building to its former glory. On the outside, windows were replaced, bricks were sandblasted and repointed, and a new roof was installed. When workers turned to the interior, two problems were confronted. First, the building lacked an elevator deemed essential for any successful redevelopment of the upper floors, and second, the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system were out-of-date. In early 2006, the developer gutted the entire interior, leaving none of the original structure.

An ambitious plan to develop the 16,000-square-foot interior for a restaurant, bar, professional offices, or retail space has not come to fruition so the building has sat empty for over a decade.

Photos & Maps

Laying the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple

Laying the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple (15 August 1895)
Source: Stan Barclay

Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple (1900)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg - Buildings - General - Masonic Temple #1

Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple (circa 1903)
Source: An Illustrated Souvenir of Winnipeg

Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple (June 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Plaque on the north exterior wall of the Masonic Temple

Plaque on the north exterior wall of the Masonic Temple (December 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89490, W97.14394
denoted by symbol on the map above

Masons Killed During Military Service in the First World War

Name

Occupation

Service

Rank

Birth Date

Death Date

Lodge

Charles Augustus Aldridge
[Brandon Armoury]

Jewellery Buyer

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles

Private

17 November 1886

2 June 1916

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Hubert Tyndall Angus

Master Painter

Llandovery Castle (Hospital Ship), Canadian Army Medical Corps

Private

25 July 1880

27 June 1918

Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 3

Ralph Russell James Brown
[Law Society, Next of Kin, Wesley College, Westminster]

Student at Law

44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

21 November 1875

31 October 1917

Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1

John Caldwell
[Next of Kin]

Shoemaker

Canadian Army Medical Corps

Regimental Sergeant Major

17 October 1879

17 December 1917

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Wesley Clemis
[Next of Kin]

Freight Conductor

2nd Field Company, Canadian Engineers

Sapper

4 February 1881

25 August 1917

St. John's Lodge No. 4

William Henry Puddicomb Collum MC
[Canadian Club, Next of Kin, Westminster]

Financial Agent

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

11 October 1884

14 August 1917

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

Russell Cushman

Passenger Agent, CPR

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Lance Corporal

6 May 1885

28 September 1918

Ionic Lodge No. 25

Frederick Denner
[Next of Kin]

Book Keeper

7th Company, Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Private

4 February 1884

21 October 1917

Ionic Lodge No. 25

Edgar Eaglestone
[Congregational, Next of Kin]

Railroad Engineer, CPR

Canadian Army Medical Corps

Private

8 January 1883

29 May 1918

Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1

Edward Cecil Frank
[Next of Kin]

Real Estate

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

7 July 1885

9 February 1917

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

John Barker Gould
[Eatons, Next of Kin]

Manager

44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Captain

12 June 1883

21 October 1918

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

William Grant

?

?

?

?

?

St. John's Lodge No. 4

William Jones

?

?

?

?

?

St. John's Lodge No. 4

John Clark Leitch
[Eatons]

Clerk

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

27 October 1886

28 September 1918

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Wallace Alexander MacKenzie

Insurance Broker

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

8 January 1884

25 April 1915

Ionic Lodge No. 25

William John Maitland
[Next of Kin]

Bookkeeper

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Sergeant

23 September 1889

24 April 1915

Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1

James Donaldson McClintock
[Congregational]

Salesman

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

24 November 1883

10 April 1917

Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 3

Donald Alexander McIvor

Student at Law

16th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

10 March 1894

2 September 1917

Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 3

Duncan Michael
[Next of Kin]

Manager

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

12 March 1885

8 October 1916

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

Stanley Hall Mitchell
[Manitoba College, Next of Kin, Westminster]

Merchant

11th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

10 June 1886

8 April 1915

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

Clifford James Moir
[Killarney, Killarney School, Manitoba College, Next of Kin]

Student

217th Squadron, Royal Air Force

Lieutenant

13 March 1894

30 June 1918

Ionic Lodge No. 25

Joseph Ewart Moore
[Stonewall, Teulon]

Insurance agent

Canadian Army Medical Corps

Private

24 June 1878

28 June 1918

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

Harold Irwin Morris
[Engineering, Next of Kin]

Well Driller

144th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Sergeant

25 April 1886

23 October 1918

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Arthur Edward Muir
[Congregational, Next of Kin]

Broker

15th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

19 January 1889

21 May 1915

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

Harold Arthur Newman
[Law Society, Next of Kin]

Law Student

46th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant

28 July 1892

4 November 1918

Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1

Oscar Royston Rudolf

Engineer

44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Sergeant

11 January 1889

2 September 1918

St. John's Lodge No. 4

James William Rutledge
[City Hall, Congregational, Next of Kin, Winnipeg Police]

Policeman

43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

21 June 1881

8 October 1916

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Arthur Charles Ruttan

Grain Merchant

144th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

3 March 1878

2 November 1918

Prince Rupert Lodge No. 1

Percy William Shields
[Next of Kin]

Boiler Maker and Electric Welder

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

19 June 1893

9 September 1918

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Charles Simpson Shipman
[Next of Kin]

Electrical Engineer

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Major

30 September 1876

9 April 1917

Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 3

James Smith

?

?

?

?

?

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Martin Sutherland

Carpenter & Electrician

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

30 July 1885

26 September 1916

St. John's Lodge No. 4

Ralph Kemp Tabberner

Salesman

27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

27 November 1882

3 May 1917

Assiniboine Lodge No. 114

Robert Somerville Young
[Selkirk]

Bookkeeper

7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Private

23 May 1885

3 June 1916

Lisgar Lodge No. 2

See also:

MHS Centennial Organization: Grand Lodge of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Oscar Bert Grubert (1929-2014)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba

Sources:

“A black Friday,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 November 1894, page 6.

“PLANS ADOPTED,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 May 1895, page 16.

“A MASONIC TEMPLE,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 August 1895, page 1.

[Public Notice - Champs Food Systems], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1971, page 37.

[Advertisement - The Rec Room], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 October 1971, page 24.

[Advertisement - GG’s Cabaret and Supper Club], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 1972, page 16.

[Classified Ad] - Mother Tucker’s Food Experience], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 1975, page 33.

[Advertisement - Chris Walby’s Hog City], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 2000, page 79.

[Classified Ad - Blue Agave Restaurant and Tequilaria], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 November 2002, page 97.

[Classified Ad], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 September 2005, page 41.

“Temple tampering / Renovations to former home of Masons won’t please history buffs, but they will bring building up to code,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 February 2006, page 77.

[Classified Ad], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 2010, page 148.

[Advertisement], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 April 2015, page 17.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Commercial Use Building For Lease (335 Donald Street, Winnipeg), Colliers Canada.

Masonic Temple, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Inventory.

We thank Stan Barclay and John Drew for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Darryl Toews.

Page revised: 13 May 2019

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


Search Tips | Suggest a Site | FAQ | Acknowledgements

Send inquiries to the MHS Webmaster.

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.