We saw this building as the city’s second First Baptist Church in the previous post. Here it is in 1940, in a different role. The Baptists moved on to new premises in 1911, but the church building wasn’t demolished. It became Hamilton Hall, without the church spire, and was finally demolished in 1941.
During the economic depression in the 1930s it was used as a relief office to provide limited support to the city’s unemployed. In 1936 it was reported by the RCMP that “Approximately 300 single unemployed men invaded the relief offices at Hamilton Hall, Vancouver, B.C., at 10:00 a.m. on 13th October demanding relief. They forced through the doors striking a policeman on guard there, proceeded to break up furniture and barricaded themselves for 35 minutes until police reserves, using tear-gas bombs, forced them from the building. Sixty-three arrests were made after the clash with the police, bringing the total number of arrests made recently up to 110. Forty-seven other men were previously arrested on charges of obstructing the police. A number of those arrested as a result of the clash at Hamilton Relief Office have been charged with rioting.” (sourced from PastTense).
As we noted before the Vancouver Playhouse now occupies the site, a competition-winning design by Affleck, Desbarates, Dimakopoulos, Leibenshold, Michaud and Sise and completed in 1959.