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Kildonan Presbyterian Church

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

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/22

Contextual view, from the southeast, of Kildonan Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Contextual View
Primary elevations, from the southeast, of Old Kildonan Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Primary Elevations
Interior view of Old Kildonan Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Inerior View

Other Name(s)

Kildonan Presbyterian Church
Old Kildonan Presbyterian Church
Vieille église presbytérienne de Kildonan

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1852/01/01 to 1854/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/02/26

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 provincial designation applies to the building and large cemetery that surrounds it.

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. 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: Manitoba Heritage Council Minute, October 17, 1987

Character-Defining Elements

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

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date

1993/11/22

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Historic

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Duncan McRae

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

P077

Status

Published

Related Places

Contextual View

Kildonan Presbyterian Church

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…

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