Downtown Victoria Tour
Pandora Avenue – 900 Block / Quadra Street – 1500 Block
Alix Goolden Performance Hall – Victoria Conservatory of Music – 907 Pandora Avenue
The Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Alix Goolden Performance Hall is located at 907 Pandora Avenue, in a building that was built in 1890 by architect Thomas Hooper as the Metropolitan Methodist Church.
Here is a map showing the location of 907 Pandora Avenue:
Here is a Google Street View image of 907 Pandora Avenue:
A Brief History of 907 Pandora Avenue
The Metropolitan Methodist Church building was designed and built in 1890 by architect Thomas Hooper for the Methodist Church at an estimated construction cost of $80,000. Victoria’s first Methodist Church had been built in 1859 on the present site of 1420 Broad Street. The congregation moved to this church in 1890.
The Methodist Church was a non-conformist” denomination which wanted to clearly distinguish itself from the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church. The Methodists desire to distinguish themselves from other churches extended into their church architecture. Thomas Hooper‘s design for this building borrowed heavily from the Richardson Romanesque style of Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886).
This building was a Methodist Church until 1925, when the Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church and the Methodist Church amalgamated to form the United Church of Canada.
The union of these three denominations left the new United Church of Canada with three major church buildings within three adjacent blocks on Quadra Street. These buildings were the former Metropolitan Methodist Church, the Congregational Church at 1600 Quadra Street and the First Presbyterian Church at 1701 Quadra Street.
The Congregational Church building at 1600 Quadra Street was sold to the Baptist Church and became the First Baptist Church.
The United Church continued to operate this building as the Metropolitan United Church and the former First Presbyterian Church at 1701 Quadra Street as the First United Church.
In January 1997, the congregations of the Metropolitan United Church and the First United Church were amalgamated to become the First Metropolitan United Church at 1701 Quadra Street,
In 1997 the United Church of Canada sold this building to the Victoria Conservatory of Music, which still operates it today.
For more historical information on this building, see:
- First Metropolitan United Church Archives – Metropolitan Methodist Church 1859-1925
- First Metropolitan United Church Archives – Metropolitan United Church 1925-1996
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