Skip to content

Delta throwback: Explosion at historic building

The damaged historic building saw the wrecking ball in 1960
canadian legion hall ladner 1961
The building once housed King George V High School in Ladner. It was the first high school in Delta.

Let’s go back to the December 1960 pages of the Optimist when work was steadily proceeding on demolishing the old Canadian Legion Hall in Ladner.

The building was wrecked by a natural gas explosion that May.

Built in 1912 as the King George V High School, it served as a school and recreation centre before it was sold to the Delta Branch of the Canadian Legion after The Second World War.

The Legion used it for its meetings and rented various parts of the building.

The Ladner branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library was housed in the basement and it also had a bowling alley.

Caretaker John Schwartz was injured in the explosion, which reportedly occurred after he lit a cigarette.

It was believed that the accident occurred because one of the propane gas appliances in the Legion kitchen had been removed.

The main control of the gas line had been turned off at the supply tank, but Schwartz turned it on again to light a furnace, not knowing that the appliance had been removed.

A librarian was also injured. 

The building was located at the current site of the Ladner Community Centre.