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Our Lady of Angels / Presentation Convent Municipal Heritage Building

Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/10/19

Exterior view of Our Lady of Angels/ Presentation Convent prior to restoration.  Photo taken November 29, 2006.; Christopher J Newhook 2006/ HFNL 2006
Our Lady of Angels/ Presentation Convent
Sketch of Our Lady of Angels/ Presentation Convent as taken from book Ten Historic Towns.  Drawing by Jean Ball, 1978.; Newfoundland Historic Trust 2006/ HFNL 2006
Historic Drawing
View of the convent from the town square.  Note the statue at the right side of the photo, and Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church at the left.  Photo taken November 29, 2006.; Christopher J Newhook 2006/ HFNL 2006
Our Lady of Angels/ Presentation Convent

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/12/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Our Lady of Angels/ Presentation Convent is a two and one half storey stone building with a steep gable roof and a cupola. Built in the French colonial style this convent is prominantly located in the town square of Placentia. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Our Lady of Angels / Presentation Convent had been designated a municipal heritage building because of its architectural, historic, cultural and environmental values.

Our Lady of Angels / Presentation Convent is architecturally valuable as a rare example of stone construction in Placentia. It is the only remaining stone building in the community and was built mainly out of locally quarried stone, with some limestone possibly imported. Built sometime between 1858 and 1864 this stone building is a testament to quality craftsmanship. Constructed in what was once a French Capital, this building displays French Colonial architecture. The keystone motif around the windows and the quoining at the corners are in striking contrast to the dark stone construction. A small gable roofed porch juts out at the main entrance, which is balanced by the light-coloured cupola with a small cross perched at the pinnacle of the roof ridge

Our Lady of Angels/ Presentation Convent is historically valuable due to its associations with the Presentation Sisters. The Irish Presentation Sisters of the Roman Catholic Church played an important role in communities across Newfoundland and arrived in Placentia in 1864. Under the direction of Rev. Mother M. Joseph O’Dowd the first teacher training school was established outside the building attached to the convent. The Presentation Sisters left Our Lady of Angels Convent in 1989, bringing an end to an era of 125 years of education in Placenta. This convent is a tangible reminder of the longstanding relationship between the convent and the education and religion of the community.

The name of the convent, “Our Lady of the Angels” is also historically valuable as it stands as a memorial to the Franciscan friars of Quebec who established the first monastery in Newfoundland in 1689.

Our Lady of Angels / Presentation Convent is environmentally valuable for its location in the community of Placentia. The location of the convent in the Town Square is indicative of the importance of the church in the community. Furthermore, the Convent is the last standing structure in a five building ecclesiastical complex located in the Town Square.

Source: Town of Placentia council meeting October 19, 2006.

Character-Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's 19th century vernacular stone design including:
-steep gable roof with cupola that bears a small, simple cross;
-stone construction;
-use of local and imported materials;
-keystone trim around windows;
-quoining at corners of building;
-protruding porch at main door;
-decorative use of alternating shingle colors; and
-building height, massing, dimensions, location and orientation.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, PO box 5171, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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