32 High Street was originally built on this site in 1900 as the Temperance Hotel. It is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
Here is a map showing the location of 32 High Street:
Here is a Google Street View image of 530 1st Avenue:
Description of Historic Place
The Temperance Hotel is a modest, two-storey, wood-framed building located in Ladysmith’s commercial core. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.
Built in 1900, the Temperance Hotel is a good example of a vernacular, early commercial building.
Its simple form and detailing represent the type of commercial building that predominated in Ladysmith until the construction of more substantial, and often elaborate, buildings a few years later.
The Temperance Hotel, moved from Wellington in 1900, symbolizes the once-common practice of moving buildings to different locations as new coal mines were developed or as old ones failed. The relocation of buildings underlines the fragile and variable nature of coal mining economies and is a significant symbol of the community’s socioeconomic history.
The Temperance Hotel is significant as a tangible reminder of the social and economic importance of hotels in Ladysmith history. Like most mining communities, early Ladysmith had a large population of single, often transient, men. As affordable housing alternatives, hotels functioned as living quarters and, in the saloons and restaurants typically located on the ground floor, as social centres. The Temperance Hotel has further significance as the only local hotel that did not serve alcohol and is a tangible reminder of the temperance movement, one of the most importance social movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Temperance Hotel is significant for its association with a defining event in Ladysmith history. During the Great Strike of 1912-1914, the hotel accommodated single men brought in as strike breakers. The hotel became a focal point for the frustrations of the strikers during the 1913 riots, and the target of one of two bombs ignited on the night of August 12.
Striking for better wages, working conditions and union recognition, the miners ultimately achieved none of these goals and, after two long, bitter years, the strike collapsed. Shaken and demoralized, the optimistic and expansive spirit of the pre-strike era was fundamentally altered and would not be recovered until the emergence of the logging industry in the late 1930s.
The Temperance Hotel is valued as part of a grouping of historic buildings in the commercial core of Ladysmith.
The character-defining elements of the Temperance Hotel include:
- – all the elements of an early commercial building as expressed in the simple form and massing, modest scale, wood construction and cladding and overall lack of ornamentation
- – the building’s location in the commercial core within a larger group of heritage buildings
- – the signage that indicates the building’s association with the Temperance Movement