The contents of a time-capsule set into the cornerstone of a St. John's Newfoundland building in 1893 are finally revealed in Saskatoon.

The Spencerian, also known in its day as British Hall, burned down in 1999.

The building's owner, Lester Allen, retrieved a time-capsule from the rubble but did not open it right away.

He decided the time had come during a visit with family in Saskatoon.

The lead box, about the size of a large book, was filled with newspapers, coins and other small items reflecting life  in the late 19th century.

"It's actually pretty amazing because I've had it for 13 years and never opened it," Allen said. "I figured there would be coins or papers. It's pretty interesting to read some of the stuff that happened over 100 years ago."


The Spencerian burned to the ground in 1999. (CBC)

Allen said he plans to get a professional to evaluate the coins. He said he will donate the papers to a museum in St. John's.

Over the years, the Spencerian was a dance and theatre hall, a school for young women, and an artist's centre.

Allen was working on renovations to the building that would have seen it become apartments. The fire that destroyed the building was blamed on bad wiring.