St. Vital Church
St. Vital Roman Catholic Church
Links and documents
1883/01/01 to 1883/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Vital Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located on a 1,820-square metre parcel of land overlooking the North Saskatchewan River in the Town of Battleford. The property features a one-storey, stucco-clad church with spire, constructed in 1883.
The heritage value of St. Vital Church lies in its association with the historical beginnings of the Town of Battleford. Founded in 1877, the St. Vital Roman Catholic Parish is the oldest parish in the Diocese of Prince Albert. Led by Rev. Florent Hert, he erected a log chapel with straw roof on the south side of the Battle River in 1878. However, due to much flooding at this location, the current St. Vital Church was built above the Battle River Flats in 1883, overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. Constructed in the post-on-sill (Red River) frame method, the building demonstrates both the construction methods and the vernacular architecture of the era. The simple, rectangular building with gable roof provides the interior with a 5-metre ceiling, which gives the sanctuary a sense of opulence. Wainscotting and a wood-panelled ceiling bring a sense of worship to the virtually unadorned building. In 1894, a front porch was added and the building extended with a sacristy and annex at the back of the church, which required construction of a new altar. Decorative arched columns mark the original size of the sanctuary, and separate the altar from the congregation. In 1892, the post-on-sill construction was covered in wood siding and stuccoed in 1971. Among the five oldest known churches in Saskatchewan, it is also believed to be the oldest Roman Catholic church in the province.
Located on its original site overlooking the North Saskatchewan River, St. Vital Church is surrounded by green space and remains an important symbol of the community's early years.
Town of Battleford Bylaw No. 15/85.
The heritage value of St. Vital Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those features that reflect its vernacular church architecture, including its rectangular form, gable roof with centrally-placed wooden spire and cross, symmetrically-placed windows, rose window;
-interior elements that create a sense of worship, such as the wood-panelled ceiling, wainscotting, decorative arched columns, and 5-metre ceilings;
-post-on-sill method of construction;
-its location and unimpeded view overlooking the North Saskatchewan River.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
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
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 918
Cross-Reference to Collection