Ascension of Our Lord Church
Elm Springs Roumanian Orthodox Church
Links and documents
1926/01/01 to 1926/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Elm Springs Roumanian Orthodox Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located in the Rural Municipality of Old Post No. 43, approximately 30 km southwest of the Town of Assiniboia in the Wood Mountain – Twelve Mile Lake district. Situated prominently on a grassy 3.9 ha parcel of rural land, the property features a cemetery and a small wood-frame church that was built in 1926.
The heritage value of the Elm Springs Roumanian Orthodox Church lies in the central place it has long occupied in the spiritual and cultural life of the local Romanian-Canadian community. By the 1920s, a large Romanian community had become established in the district. However, those living near Elm Springs attended church services infrequently as the nearest Orthodox church was some 30 km away, a prohibitive distance to travel in those days. So that they could more easily maintain their traditional religious practices, the people of Elm Springs undertook to build their own church in 1926. “Ascension of Our Lord Church,” as it is officially named, was built with donated funds and labour, and furnished with many fixtures and religious accoutrements that were handmade by parishioners. Purposely sited on high ground, the church has been a highly visible symbol of the community’s cultural heritage and a gathering place for religious and social events for over eighty years. Although regular services have ceased, the church still hosts annual Ascension Day observances and other occasional services. Weddings and funerals are still held in the church, and the cemetery is still used. A focus of community life for several decades, the church continues to be valued as a landmark, an expression of community identity, and a memorial to the district’s Romanian pioneers.
Rural Municipality of Old Post No. 43 Bylaw No. 43/86.
The heritage value of the Elm Springs Roumanian Orthodox Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that identify the building as an early-twentieth century rural church, including its simple form and massing, wood-frame construction, pointed-arch window openings, windows with tracery, clapboard siding, shake roofing, and interior wainscot and wood trim;
-elements that express the church’s connection to the local Romanian community, including its location on its original site and the open grounds; the grave markers and pattern of interments in the cemetery; the mounted bell from a former free-standing bell tower; and features that are characteristic of a Romanian Orthodox place of worship, such as the building’s east-west orientation; the dome-shaped cupolas; the hand-wrought iron crosses on the cupolas and roof peak; the interior spatial arrangement of vaulted ceiling, rear choir loft, side apses, and sanctuary and altar separated from the nave by a highly decorated iconostasis; the platforms and wood supports along the side walls where parishioners stood in the church’s early days; and handmade fixtures and furnishings donated by early community members.
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
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 1042
Cross-Reference to Collection