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St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church

NW 28-1-6E, Stuartburn, Manitoba, R0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/01/29

View from the southwest of St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, near Gardenton, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Southwest Elevations
Detail of roof ornamentation on the St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, near Gardenton, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Roof ornamentation
View of the narthex and nave of St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, near Gardenton, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Narthex and nave

Other Name(s)

St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church
St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Église ukrainienne orthodoxe St. Michael's

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1898/01/01 to 1899/12/12

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/10/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The wooden St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church occupies a tranquil site in relative isolation from nearby Gardenton in southeastern Manitoba. Situated on a large grassed lot populated with stands of oak trees, the 1898-99 log structure is surrounded by a landscape of bush, open fields and pasture land. The provincial designation applies to the church, free-standing bell tower, cemetery and 7.89-hectare site.

Heritage Value

St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, erected by immigrants from northern Bukovyna, is the oldest surviving Ukrainian Orthodox church in Canada. Constructed from logs, with its design based on ancestral traditions of a central three-frame plan, the church is a good illustration of Bukovynian pioneer craftsmanship, interior decoration and religious furnishing and a fine early example of Ukrainian ecclesiastical architecture in Canada. The structure, built by skilled carpenter Wasyl Kekot and modified in 1915 by Menholy Chalaturnyk to incorporate a roofline with a central onion shaped cupola and hipped roofs, is one of the few surviving log-constructed churches in Manitoba. Restored as an historic site, it continues to be used on special occasions, thus remaining a focal point of spiritual and cultural life in the Gardenton area, part of the first Ukrainian settlement in Manitoba.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, May 25, 1985

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the St. Michael's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church site include:
- the building's placement on a traditional east-west axis, facing west, within a large lot five kilometres east of Tolstoi and the extensive grassed and treed grounds

Key exterior elements that define the church's traditional Ukrainian ecclesiastical style include:
- its basic unaltered three-frame plan with the central frame slightly larger than the adjacent two
- the roof structure, including the central roof with an octagonal drum, pierced at its base by two small square windows on the north and south sides and capped by a single tin-sheathed dome and metal Orthodox cross; and two adjacent hipped roofs with small tin-sheathed cupolas centred on the ridges, topped by metal Orthodox crosses
- the small entrance porch with double wood doors and clear glass transom windows
- the simple single-hung sash windows, including pointed arched windows with Y-tracery on each side of the nave and sanctuary and rectangular-shaped windows on each side of the narthex
- the basic materials and finishes, including the structure's log construction with dovetail joints, the horizontal tongue-and-groove board siding, cedar shingles and a brick corbelled chimney

Key internal elements that define the heritage character of the church include:
- the open floor plan with proportional spaces typical of a three chambered plan, with a narrow, barrel-vaulted narthex, central nave and low east-end sanctuary separated from the nave by an iconostas pierced with the traditional three round-arched openings, including the central portal gate decorated with fretwork
- the nave's octagonally segmented dome supported by four triangular squinches
- the colourful interior finishes, such as the brightly painted walls hung with icon paintings, the dome with painted gold stars on a background of midnight blue, and the devotional expressions, 'Praise The Lord Oh My Soul' and 'Our Hope is in God,' inscribed in Ukrainian above the bowed partition of the narthex and in the nave, etc.
- the simple essential furnishings, including the alter, hand-carved scripture stands and tables, wooden benches, wood-burning stove, etc.
- the fine religious icons and articles such as framed paintings, religious banners and processional crosses, chandeliers, etc.




Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Architect / Designer

Menholy Chalaturnyk


Wasyl Kekot

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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