CHINESE FREEMASONS ASSOCIATION, DAT COON CLUB, SUNRISE APARTMENTS
Architects: Balbi Dorosz Architects
CHINESE FREEMASONS ASSOCIATION, DAT COON CLUB
With Rick Ma (President of the Chinese Freemason’s Association)
+ When was this building built?
This building was built at the same time as Wah Ying Mansion, in the early 1980s.
+ Who is the architect?
The architect was the same as for the Ng Tower (Rick Balbi).
+ Tell me about the new building and the previous structure.
It’s a residential building (Sunrise Apartments) that also has commercial space (there’s an engineering office in the building) and the Freemason’s Association is on the 2nd floor. It was developed by the Association but we sold our part and now the residential side are condos.
Where the new building is now, there used to be two old buildings and one dates back to 1951.
with Peter Chu (Previous Property Manager of the Sunrise Apartments building)
+ Tell me about your relationship to the building.
I managed that building from 2001 – 2013.
+ Describe the layout of the building.
There’s one half basement level that has 19 parking spaces.
The main floor is a commercial space. It used to be Sing Tao and is now an oil company.
On the second floor is the Dat Coon Club and the Chinese Freemasons Association.
Sunrise Apartments are condos on the 3-10 floors. These apartments were converted to condos in 1998 and broken down into smaller ownership. The 10th floor is the highest. On each residential floor, five units face north and two larger units facing south. There are lots of owner-occupied units.
+ Is there any interesting building history to share?
The Freemasons used to own the entire building, including the apartments, but they sold it in 1998 because of the new condo law (if you’re the owner, you need to do the renovations).
Today, they continue to their own unit on the second floor.
SIDNEY WOO (FORMER CALGARY CHINATOWN RESIDENT)
In the 1960s, I came with my father to Canada. Immigration had required my father to come, to prevent me from being a “paper son”.
We lived in the Chinese Freemason’s building in the late 1960s. There were 20-30 “rooms” in the basement boarding house. There were 3 floors — basement, main floor (with a meeting hall and a 1-room unit) and the 2nd floor. The only couple in that building lived on the main floor in the 1-room unit, and this was my sister’s in-law’s distant relative. There were early stories that the husband gambled and beat up the wife. She saved up and her money was put into a safe at the Freemason’s building.
HISTORIC BUILDING PHOTOGRAPHS
CURRENT DAY BUILDING PHOTOGRAPHS
Photographs taken in 2020.