Soon after the New Maryland’s Women’s Institute was formed in 1915, it was decided that a new hall was needed for the group’s meetings and special events. In 1917 the construction of Victoria Hall (named after Queen Victoria) was begun. The hall was ready for the first annual meeting of the Women’s Institute in June of 1918.
Victoria Hall was used by the Women’s Institute until the group disbanded in 2011. The community continues to use the hall as a gathering place for a large variety of events, including dances, receptions, auctions, quilt fairs, country suppers and other social events.
Originally, the hall stood only a few steps from Highway 101, however in 1993, it was decided that the building should be moved to a safer location, further back on the lot. This move also included the addition of a new foundation. The hall now sits a comfortable distance from the highway, and a ramp has been installed to aid those who cannot maneuver stairs.
Many more renovations have taken place over the years:
The drop ceiling was removed to uncover a beautiful barrel-vaulted wood ceiling.
The previously boarded up circular window was refurbished and several of the broken stained glass panels were replaced
The building was completely insulated
The electrical system was upgraded and electric heaters were installed
Bathrooms and running water were installed in 1996 which has significantly improved the functionality of the hall. Prior to this time, an outhouse at the rear of the property was the only source of relief for those using the hall
The wooden floors of the hall were replaced in 2009
New clapboard siding, trim and a metal roof were installed in 2010
The wheelchair accessible front door was installed in 2013
The kitchen was renovated in May 2015
To facilitate these changes, the Village of New Maryland reached an agreement to lease the hall from the Women’s Institute. In 2003, the Village of New Maryland purchased the hall from the Women’s Institute and now oversees the care and maintenance of the building. The Village also makes the hall available to the public for a minimal rental fee.
The area surrounding Victoria Hall has been developed into a park and garden. In 1995, a Veteran’s Memorial was installed and has become the focal point for annual Remembrance services.
Other special event held at the Hall each year include the Christmas Tree lighting – the Hall, as well as the Christmas tree located adjacent to the Hall, are trimmed with lights and a special guest is asked to “throw the switch.” Hot cider and sweets are served inside the Hall after the tree is lit.
This beautiful facility is a wonderful spot for celebrations and special rentals.
Highlights of Victoria Hall:
- Can accommodate functions with up to 71 guests
- Ample free parking
- Access to a well equipped kitchen
- Barrier-free building with washroom facilities
- A picturesque park surrounds the Hall