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St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church

NW 20-26-20 WPM, Dauphin, Manitoba, R0L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/11/25

Context view from the northwest of St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Dauphin area, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Context View
View to the altar of St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Dauphin area, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
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Other Name(s)

Cross of Freedom
St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church
Le musée et le site historiques de Trembowla
Cross of Freedom
Trembowla Historical Site and Museum

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1898/01/01 to 1898/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, constructed in 1898, is a 11/2-storey vernacular wood-frame structure with a free-standing bell tower and simple grotto beside it. Its pastoral location on the bank of the Drifting River north of Dauphin forms part of the Cross of Freedom site at Trembowla. The provincial designation applies to the church and the lot upon which it sits.

Heritage Value

St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church is the oldest remaining Ukrainian Catholic church in Canada. Originally located near Mink River, the church was erected by Ukrainian settlers after Father Nestor Dmytriw, a visiting American priest, blessed a cemetery, celebrated the liturgy and urged the pioneers to erect a chapel on the site. With its compact design, simple massing and minimal ornamentation, the early vernacular structure is a good representative of the kind of basic ecclesiastical buildings the settlers could erect with the minimal materials and skills available to them, yet which served their purpose very effectively. Now part of the Trembowla Cross of Freedom site, where the first Ukrainian Catholic divine liturgy on Canadian soil was celebrated on April 12, 1897 by Father Dmytriw, the church also holds a significance as a symbol of the religious freedom enjoyed by the immigrants.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, May 15, 1999

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church site include:
- its location in a rural situation alongside a small creek and proximity to the Cross of Freedom site

Key elements that define the church's unpretentious vernacular style include:
- its two volumes, including the nave denoted by a tall gable roof and the sanctuary denoted by a shorter rectangular volume terminating in a three-sided curve
- the intact horizontal wood siding covering mud-plastered and whitewashed log walls
- the modest cupola located on the west peak of roof, featuring a wooden drum topped by a metal onion dome and patriarchal cross
-the minimal openings, including the sanctuary's rectangular windows, the nave's round-arched windows, the bull's eye window above two small rectangular openings in the gallery and the V-joint wooden plank door, all with decorative wooden trim

Key elements that define the church's interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the diminutive two-frame rectangular plan composed of the nave, with a small gallery in the west end, and the raised curved sanctuary, measuring four by five metres and containing the altar with tabernacle
- the floors, walls and gambrel-shaped ceiling of wooden planks
- the details, finishes and intact furnishings and iconography, including the arched opening between the nave and sanctuary, the utilitarian wooden benches lining the nave, the intact cantor's ledge and tetrapod, the ornate chandelier, the hand-carved wooden crucifixes, 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

Architect / Designer




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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