Loyola House / National School Building National Historic Site of Canada
Loyola House / National School Building
Maison Loyola / Édifice de l'École nationale
Links and documents
1822/01/01 to 1823/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Loyola House / National School Building National Site of Canada is an imposing early Gothic Revival style public building located within the walls of Old Québec City, Quebec. Set on a sloping street, this classically organized two-and-a-half-storey stone building features regular fenestration, a large gabled portico and a belvedere. Gothic Revival detailing enhances the structure. Official recognition refers to the legal property boundary at the time of designation.
Loyola House / National School Building was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1989 because:
- it is the oldest known Gothic Revival Public Building in Canada.
Constructed between 1822 and 1823 to plans by stone merchant Benjamin Tremaine, the Loyola House / National School Building is one of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival style architecture in Canada, and also in the use of this style on a public building. Its pointed gothic windows and distinctive drip label mouldings applied to a building of classical proportions reflect the Romantic phase of the Gothic style. In 1842, architect Henry Musgrave Blaiklock added another storey and an annex, taking care to use the same fenestration pattern in the additions. Modifications have been made over the years to adapt to changing functions. The building has served as a school, a home for orphans and the poor, and as a social and cultural centre.
At the instigation of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, an Anglican institution, this National School insuring the education of orphans was erected in behalf of the creation of the British National Schools. The Building housed a number of other institutions of religious, charitable, or educational vocations. Owned by the Jesuits from 1904 to 1969, the building was renamed Loyola House and used as a centre for social and cultural activities.
Sources: Commission of Historic Sites and Monuments of Canada, Minutes, 1989.
Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its location in an urban setting within the walls of Old Québec City, on rue d’Auteuil between Porte Saint-Jean and Porte Kent;
- its setting on a small urban lot, its long elevation facing the street;
- the elements that provide a Gothic Revival style decorative overlay over an essentially classically proportioned composition, specifically:
- the horizontal massing comprised of a two-and-a-half storey structure on a raised basement;
- the low-pitched, front-sloping, tin-shingled, gable roof;
- the classically organized, nine-bay façade with central, projecting frontispiece and entry doors on each side accessed by exterior staircases;
- the smooth exterior surface created by covering load-bearing stone walls with layers of crépi;
- the romantic silhouette created by the small, pinnacled belvedere set centrally on roof ridge;
- the Gothic Revival detailing of the portico with its large, pointed arch window and steep side-sloping gabled roof;
- the multi-paned, tripartite, casement windows under pronounced drip moulding;
- the interior design testifying by the presence of remains the original function of the building, as a learning institution, including the evidence of the partitions on the floor and of the heating system and its evolution;
- the viewscapes from the site, including the panoramic views on Porte Saint-Jean, the walls of Old City of Québec backup space slope, the Porte Kent; the view from the corner of Saint-Jean and d’Auteuil road, south-eastward; and the view from the crossroads of Porte Kent northward.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1842/01/01 to 1842/01/01
1886/01/01 to 1886/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
- Special or Training School
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Institution
- Group Residence
- Composite School
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection