Description of Historic Place
The Manotick United Church was built for the Methodist congregation, in 1903 to 1904, after a grass fire, in 1902, destroyed the previous church and two neighbouring houses. Located at 5567 Main Street, the Manotick Methodist Church was turned over to the United Church of Canada, in 1925. As the oldest church structure in Manotick the clearly visible Manotick United Church, at the south end of the old village, reflects the character of the village, at the turn of the 20th century and the prominence of the Methodists in the community.
The Manotick United Church is recognized for its heritage value by the Township of Rideau (now City of Ottawa), By-law 26/2000.
The Manotick United Church is associated with the settlement of Methodists, in a rapidly growing Manotick, at the turn of the 20th century. A Methodist Church at Long Island Locks was established somewhat earlier, possibly before 1845. The congregation declined following construction of the bulkhead at Manotick, which led to a migration of population towards M.K. Dickinson's new enterprises there. By 1872, most of the Methodist congregation had moved to Manotick, and they decided to build a new church here. The small log church at Long Islands was dismantled and moved to Dale Wilson's farm, to be used a granary, and was unfortunately destroyed by fire, which was reported to have been started by careless smokers.
The Manotick Methodist Church was built on the north-west corner of Catherine and Elizabeth [now Dickinson] Streets; the congregation donated time and material. The frame building had a stone foundation. By 1874, the congregation was worshipping in the basement of their new church, which officially opened on October 3, 1877. The grass fire of 1902 destroyed this church and all of the records, making it difficult to trace the beginnings of the church.
Two days after the fire, at a meeting of the Trustees, called by the Reverend William Raney, it was agreed to proceed with rebuilding. In the interval, Sunday services would be held in [the old] Harmony Hall. There was debate about where to build the new church. There were three choices: the previous site, a plot near the Church of England site, offered as a gift by M.K. Dickinson, and a lot fronting on Main Street south of Catherine described as “the orchard”. In the event, two members of the congregation agreed to buy and donate “the orchard” provided the church be built there, and the decision of a ballot vote fell to them. The present Manotick United Church was opened on May 22, 1904.
The style and quality of the construction make it a good example of its type, reflected in such features as the offset tower, with open belfry and metal roofing, the use of hammer-dressed masonry, with ashlar quoins and dressings and the colourful windows. Most of the stone came from the quarry at Limebank. The design is much like Trinity United Church in Kars, built a few years earlier. All the windows are beautifully coloured and daintily decorated; because the church is stone, they all have deep window sills. There are seven stained glass windows: the large altar window, two on each side of the main body of the church, and one in each entrance stairway at the front corners. There used to be two more windows in the back, but the building of the church hall in 1955-56 necessitated their removal.
The Manotick (United) Church remains as a visual anchor for the streetscape in the Village of Manotick, now enveloped by the City of Ottawa.
Source: Rideau Township Archives, City of Ottawa 4067644.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Manotick United Church includes the:
- offset tower with open belfry and metal roofing
- hammer-dressed masonry with ashlar quoins and dressings
- seven stained glass windows
- the small rectangular date stone in the centre of the tower above the main entrance
- siting of the building, at the south end of the old village, creating a visual anchor for the streetscape