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First Scandinavian Mission Church

268 Ellen Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/03/01

View of the main (north) face of the First Scandinavian Mission Church, Winnipeg, 2004.; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Main Elevation
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Other Name(s)

First Scandinavian Mission Church
Scandinavian Mission Church
Église missionnaire Scandinavian

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1897/01/01 to 1897/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

First Scandinavian Mission Church is a modest-sized Romanesque Revival-style church built in 1897. The brick-veneer structure is prominently located on a corner lot in a mixed residential and commercial area in central Winnipeg, where a large Scandinavian population settled at the turn of the twentieth century. The site's provincial designation applies to the church and the two lots on which it sits.

Heritage Value

First Scandinavian Mission Church, built to accommodate the religious and social needs of Free Church Scandinavians in Winnipeg, is significant because of its role as a mission church, central to no less than five Scandinavian houses of worship within a two-block area by the 1920s. The structure is one of the few remaining original mission churches in central Winnipeg and one of only two pre-1900 Romanesque Revival-style churches that still exist in the city. Designed by Hugh McCowan, this facility is also a rare local example of the Akron floor plan, a variation of the auditorium or U-shaped plan. Modified for commercial use in 1990, the church retains its basic exterior and interior integrity.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, July 11, 1992

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the site include:
- the church's highly visible location at the southwest corner of Ellen Street and Logan Avenue in Winnipeg, with its two principal facades and corner bell tower oriented to the intersection

Key elements that define the Romanesque Revival style of First Scandinavian Mission Church include:
- the structure's asymmetrical, yet well-proportioned massing and complex, steeply pitched roofline, including three elevations with large gables, a square bell tower with a pyramidal roof and pinnacles at the northeast corner, a smaller polygonal tower at the northwest corner, various ancillary volumes on the east and west elevations and a tall brick chimney
- the multiple round-arched window and door surrounds, including the main windows grouped in threes and smaller openings in pairs and singles
- the unpretentious materials and ornamentation, including the rusticated stone foundation, buff-coloured brick veneer, voussoirs, arched drip mouldings, stone sills, plain wooden bargeboards, finials, etc.

Key elements that define the building's function as a mission church and its Akron plan include:
- the interior layout, expressed by the centralized floor plan with semi-circular apse and oak railing, additional space in an adjoining room to the south and the open-space basement with a low ceiling
- features such as stained-glass windows grouped in threes on three sides of the nave, the 6.7-metre-high truncated painted wood ceiling, the hanging brass and frosted glass chandelier and wall sconces, fir flooring, 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


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

Hugh McCowan



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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Primary Elevations

Scandinavian Mission Church

The Scandinavian Mission Church is a modest-sized Romanesque Revival-style church built in 1897. The brick-veneer structure is prominently located on a corner lot in a mixed…


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