Local History Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 8 – Prudential Kit Houses

It’s back! I has been 3 years since I published my last Local History Advent Calendar! So much has happened since that last time—including the publication of my first book, Mount Pleasant Stories—that I figured it was about time to dust off the Local History Advent Calendar once again. Similar to a regular advent calendar but instead of chocolate treats, each day you “open” a new historical treat. Think of them as holiday cocktail party fodder– 24 facts or stories about local history that can be used as conversation starters at your next social event.

These 3 houses on E12th at St.George are prefab houses by Prudential Builders Ltd. “Lethbridge” design.

You may be familiar with BC Mills prefabricated or kit houses but did you know about Mount Pleasant’s Prudential Builders Ltd.? They manufactured kit houses, pre-fabricated homes or what they called sectional, or semi-ready buildings. The company started in the prefabrication business around 1903.  

Prudential Builders Ltd. was located at the cor. Dufferin (2nd) and Manitoba sts., 1910.

A new factory complex was built in Mount Pleasant (at 2nd & Manitoba) around 1909 for the manufacture of houses exclusively, but the company also made school buildings and small commercial buildings. 

This was perfect timing as the whole area was in the midst of an economic and building boom. The population of the city (and all of Western Canada) was increasing rapidly. In 1910, the company was producing complete houses at a rate of 600 per year or 50 houses a month and had over 100 employees.  

However, their success was short-lived, for by WW1 the company disappeared or possibly got out of the “pre-fab” business.

Page 29 of the Prudential Builders Ltd. catalogue, showing the “Lethbridge” design.

You can find more Mount Pleasant stories in my walking tour book, Mount Pleasant Stories. Copies are available for purchase in Mount Pleasant at Pulpfiction Books – 2422 Main Street and in Chinatown at Massy Books – 229 E Georgia St. It makes a great gift or stocking stuffer for your favourite local history buff!

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