The Finnish Labour Temple
(also known as the Big Finn Hall
or Finlandia Club
) is a Finnish-Canadian
cultural and community centre
and a local landmark located at 314 Bay Street in the Finnish quarter
in Thunder Bay
Built in 1910, the Finnish Labour Temple was at one point one of the largest workers' halls
in Canada in addition to being the centre of Finnish cultural and political life in Northwestern Ontario
. Currently, the hall houses the historic Hoito Restaurant
, the offices of the weekly Finnish-Canadian newspaper Canadan Sanomat
, a museum, and features a large stage, dance floor, and hall as well as meeting rooms for various groups. The Finnish Labour Temple serves as one of the main locations of the Bay Street Film Festival
The construction of the Finnish Labour Temple was initiated by two organizations, the Finnish-American Workers' League Imatra #9
and the "Uusi Yritys" or New Attempt Temperance Society
, who formed the Finnish Building Company
. The lot for the hall had been purchased by socialist local in June 1907 and blueprints
for the hall had already been prepared in early December 1908 by architect C.W. Wheeler. The building opened its doors to the public in March 1910, holding three consecutive days of opening ceremonies.
The inscription on the top of the building reads "Labor Omnia Vincet," meaning "labour conquers all."
Early Labour Temple activity,......