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Kildonan Presbyterian Church

201 John Black Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/01/05

View of the main elevations, looking north, of Kildonan Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Primary Elevation
Site context view, looking north, of Kildonan Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Context View
Interior view of Kildonan Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Interior View

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1852/01/01 to 1854/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Kildonan Presbyterian Church sits in a large, well-treed property on the northern outskirts of Winnipeg. The church, of solid limestone and now covered with stucco, was completed in 1854. It is surrounded by a historically important cemetery containing the graves of some of the Selkirk settlers, Manitoba's earliest European farmers, and many of their descendents. The City of Winnipeg's Grade I designation applies to the building on its footprint and the interior.

Heritage Value

Kildonan Presbyterian Church, built in 1852-54, is the second-oldest standing church in Winnipeg, and the Mother Church of Western Canadian Presbyterianism. The church served some of the province's earliest European settlers, including many of the Selkirk settlers who arrived in the early 1800s and who inaugurated the first halting steps toward the development of the province's agricultural economy. Built almost 40 years after their arrival, Kildonan Presbyterian Church was a significant and proud achievement for these pioneers. In the City of Winnipeg the church is one of the few remaining tangible connections to this significant group. The structure, the work of well-known Red River Settlement-era stonemason Duncan McRae, is an early example of the Gothic Revival style, a familiar form of Protestant church architecture well known by the settlers, whose small parish churches in Scotland were the models here. In this instance, given the pioneer circumstances and the tenets of Presbyterianism, which called for restraint and even austerity in their buildings, the result is a modest interpretation of the style. Inside, the church retains most of its original features and details, all in good condition.

Source: City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee Meeting, October 14, 1993

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the important locational characteristics of Kildonan Presbyterian Church include:
- its placement on a large treed lot, facing south, surrounded on all sides by the gravestones of the church cemetery

Key elements that define the church's modest Gothic Revival style include:
- the simplicity of the design with its rectangular form, gable roof and large pointed windows on the east and west sides and in the balcony level of the south-facing gable end
- the contrasting textures of the rough-hewn stone walls, stuccoed in 1921, and the smooth-cut stone quoins and accenting around the windows

Key qualities that define the church's modest, but eloquent interior include:
- the spacious uninterrupted nave, with truncated gable ceiling and a small balcony at the south end with narrow access stairs
- the arrangement of the space, with aisles leading to the altar
- the palette of textures and colours, including light-hued plaster walls, planked ceiling painted white, simple square columns supporting the balcony, painted white, and contrasting woodwork stained dark brown, including floors, pews, pulpit, choir benches, tables, vestibule screen with upper edge carved with simple fleur-de-lis outlines, etc.
- the pointed arch entrance door, four stained-glass windows, clear-glass windows with multi-paned sashes (all openings deeply recessed) and memorial tablets hung on the walls

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Manitoba

Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date

1994/01/05

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Dunca McRae

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Winnipeg, Historical Buildings Committee, 15 - 30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB, File "201 John Black Avenue"

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

W0156

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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