5 West Pender Street

The Chinese Freemasons Building, as it is now often called, underwent a significant renovation and heritage restoration in 2007. It was occupied from 1907 by Chee Kung Tong, described as a powerful secret society that supported Sun Yat Sen, viewed by most as the founder of modern China. In 1920 they changed their name to The Chinese Freemasons, (although they have no links to Freemasonry).

The building cost $20,000 for a 3-storey brick and stone structure for stores & warehouse, for developer Sing Sam. The restaurant was remodelled at a cost of $1,000 in 1913 by S B Birds, and the Pekin Chop Suey House occupied the upper floors from the 1920s (when this image was taken). These days it has rental residential uses on the upper floors.

Image source: Chung Collection, UBC


Posted 26 December 2011 by ChangingCity in Chinatown, Still Standing

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