St. Peter's Seminary
1040, Waterloo Street, City of London, Ontario, N6A, Canada
1040 Waterloo Street
Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Peter's Seminary
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Peter's Seminary, located at 1040 Waterloo Street is situated on the east side of Waterloo Street, to the south of the Thames River, in the City of London. The property consists of a stone seminary building that was constructed between 1925 and 1926 including the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, constructed in 1930.
The property was designated by the City of London in 2000 for its historic or architectural value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 3319-198).
St. Peter's Seminary was built on land originally owned by Sir Phillip Pocock, who donated it to the Catholic Church. Located within Sunshine Park in North London, the land is reminiscent of a large, sprawling campus and features breathtaking views of the north branch of the Thames River, a Canadian Heritage River. Sir Phillip is notable for having made many significant contributions to the Catholic Church and other charities, and for receiving a papal knighthood for his efforts.
St. Peter's Seminary was originally founded in 1912 by Bishop Michael Francis Fallon, with the intention to provide a place to educate students in the sacred sciences and to provide ecclesiastical training for clerical students of the Diocese of London. The Seminary moved from the old Bishops' Palace to the larger Waterloo Street location in 1926. Today, the Seminary is affiliated with King's University College at the University of Western Ontario.
St. Peter's Seminary was designed in the Collegiate Gothic architectural style by the Windsor architectural firm of Pennington and Boyde, with associate J.W. Leighton as the lead and Pigott Construction Company of Hamilton as the builders. The building is comprised of four wings adjoining a central tower. Typical of the Collegiate Gothic style, the Seminary features a steeply pitched roof punctuated by gabled dormers. Also of note is the two-leaf front entry, which includes rich gothic-inspired carvings in Tyndall stone, a transom forming the characteristic Gothic lancet arch, delicate tracery and a carved border of grape clusters. The rotunda forms an impressive entrance lobby to the Seminary, with its travertine construction and Verde marble floors. Intricate carvings, areas for religious statues and commemorative plaques are evident throughout the interior of the Seminary.
The Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, located within St. Peter's Seminary, is a fine example of the English Gothic style of architecture. Typical of this style, the interior of the Chapel features intricate wood carvings and tableaux and stained glass. An inscription of Bishop Fallon's motto, “Peace and Justice”, and his coat of arms in the gallery of the Chapel stand as reminders to the bishop's significant contributions to the Seminary.
Source: City of London, By-law L.S.P. – 3319-198.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value include the:
- prominent location on land donated by Sir Phillip Pocock
- current location within Sunshine Park.
- Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas
- central tower
- gabled roof
- copper and sea green slate roof
- stone construction
- Tyndall stone detailing
- dormer windows
- two-leaf front entry
- transom above front entry which forms a lancet arch
- delicate tracery and carved grape border which surround front entry
- carved niches which feature intricate carvings
- commemorative plaques
- cast travertine in the rotunda
- Verde marble floor in rotunda
- statue of St. Michael in foyer.
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
2000/01/01 to 2000/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Institution
Architect / Designer
Pigott Construction Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of London
Planning and Development Department
300 Dufferin Avenue
Cross-Reference to Collection