Old Stone Church National Historic Site of Canada
Old Stone Church
Vieille église en pierre
Links and documents
1840/01/01 to 1853/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Old Stone Church National Historic Site of Canada is a small rural fieldstone church located on the outskirts of the town of Beaverton near Lake Simcoe, Ontario. Presbyterian in denomination, this simple building with gracious classical features stands on a wooded lot separated from a regional road by a stone wall. The church's burial ground, which has become the municipal cemetery for Beaverton, flanks it to the south and west. The designation refers to the church and its legal lot.
Old Stone Church was designated a national historic site in 1991 because it is a particularly gracious example of the few early stone vernacular churches surviving in Canada.
Old Stone Church was built on a 100-acre lot in Thorah Township granted in 1835 to the Church of Scotland by the Legislature of Upper Canada. In 1840, the congregation contracted stonemason John Morrison to build a replacement for the first log church. Construction was completed in 1853. The church, known as St. Andrew's, has changed little since its construction. In 1991, the Beaverton Presbyterian Church undertook its restoration and currently uses it for special services and during the summer. The heritage value of Old Stone Church National Historic Site resides in the rare combination of its high degree of integrity and simple pioneer origins.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June and November 1991.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the rectangular footprint and single-storey massing of the church under a low-pitched roof;
- its balanced fenestration on both end and side facades;
- its end-gable entrance with a central door flanked by two large multi-pane windows;
- its simple, classically inspired features including high round-headed windows and oculi on the gable ends;
- its local fieldstone wall materials, granite surrounds and wood detailing;
- its solid wall construction above a log foundation;
- its auditory hall design with side aisle and rear gallery;
- surviving original interior furnishings and fittings, their materials, minimalist design, craftsmanship and finishes, particularly its plasterwork, wide pine board tongue-and-groove wainscoting, plank floor, gallery, pulpit, and precentor's box;
- evidence of the use of early utilities including stoves, and early lighting;
- its road-side setting within a walled and wooded lot with flanking cemetery.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
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
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection