Description of Historic Place
Toutes Aides Roman Catholic Church, erected in 1935, is a large wood-frame church and residence in Toutes Aides near Lake Manitoba. The municipal designation applies to the combined church/residence structure and its grounds.
The Toutes Aides Roman Catholic Church, with its tall spire and massive dimensions, recalls an era of growing congregations and economic optimism in rural Manitoba, and speaks to the importance of Roman Catholicism in Toutes Aides, which traces its origins to a Metis fishing camp in the 1840s. Today this fine house of worship, a vernacular interpretation of nineteenth-century Quebec parish churches, graces the skyline of the small lakeside settlement, pragmatically accompanied by an attached residence. Exterior appointments are modest but, within, a lofty well-lit nave, multi-level sanctuary, attractive woodwork, faux marble finishes and other refined features continue to make the church a welcoming presence in the community. A small cemetery behind the church, dating from 1907, is also an important element of the ecclesiastical compound.
Source: Rural Municipality of Lawrence By-law No. 06-90, June 26, 1990
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Toutes Aides Roman Catholic Church site include:
- its location in the village of Toutes Aides
- the building's east-west placement on a large plot with an adjacent cemetery secluded by trees
Key elements that define the complex's exterior character, as influenced by Quebec-style parish churches, include:
- the imposing elongated rectangular form under a moderately steep gable roof with shallow cross-gabled transepts and a two-storey residence all of wood-frame construction on a concrete foundation
- the tall two-tiered tower centred in the front (east) gable, with an elevated entrance, large oculus, belfry and narrow metal-roofed spire topped by a pinnacle and ornate Latin cross
- the prevalence of the Romanesque round arch used on the double-door main entrance, the paired tower, nave and transept windows, the trios of belfry openings, etc.
- the modest materials and details, uniformly applied to the church and residence, including horizontal siding, wood trim painted a contrasting light colour, brick chimneys, etc.
Key elements that define the church's graceful, expansive interior include:
- the traditional plan incorporating a small narthex, a long nave and a large multi-level sanctuary, behind which lie a sacristy, bright ambulatory and second-storey study
- the nave's high narrow barrel vault ceiling on arcades with lower ceilings over the side aisles
- the deep full-width choir loft with an open staircase and a slightly curved front of attractively stained wood detailed with a round-arched motif
- the modest materials and features, including wooden floors, wainscotting and trim, etc.
- the well-chosen finishes, including the artful use of several faux marble patterns, the plentiful stained glass, the sky-blue painted ceiling, etc.
- the restrained use of iconography, highlighted by round images in the arcade spandrels, etc.
Key elements that define the residence's interior character include:
- the functional layout with modest guest bedrooms and larger living and study areas
- the utilitarian finishes, including the linoleum flooring and plywood panelling, the dark-stained wood ceilings and wainscotting in several rooms, etc.