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Parish School

153 Spring Street, Summerside, Île-du-Prince-Édouard, C1N, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 2005/02/21

Showing west and north elevations; MacNaught History Centre and Archives, Natalie Griffith, 2005
Parish School
Parish School - west elevation detail; MacNaught History Centre and Archives, 2003
Detail of window moulding and front porch
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)

Parish School
Massey House
Old Convent

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2005/03/29

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

This handsome home at the corner of Spring and Pleasant Streets in Summerside, PEI, was the community’s first Convent and Catholic school. The designation includes the building and its lot.

Valeur patrimoniale

The heritage value of the former Parish School lies in its role as Summerside’s first convent and Catholic school, built to serve the rapidly-growing population of the harbourfront community of Summerside. Reverend James MacDonald and members of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, an order based in Montréal, founded the school in 1864. Although run by the nuns, the private school was open to Protestants and Catholics and to both girls and young boys, and contributed to the education of generations of Summerside residents. The building served the community until 1885, when it was replaced with a much larger edifice.

Further heritage value of the Parish School lies in its association with Hugh J. Massey, a prominent local citizen. Massey was the deputy law clerk for the Prince County Court House and served under W.H. Pope, its first judge and a Father of Confederation. Massey was also clerk for the Town of Summerside for over 30 years. He purchased half of the convent/parish school and moved it to its present location in 1895 to serve as his residence.

Heritage value also lies in the Parish School or Massey House as an example of Maritime Vernacular architecture, a regional building style that rose from immigrants incorporating other styles with those they were familiar with and adapting to local materials and conditions. The Parish School is a good example of a Maritime Vernacular house with Gothic Revival features.

Source: City of Summerside Heritage Property Profile

Éléments caractéristiques

As an example of a Maritime Vernacular house with Gothic Revival features, the following elements are significant:
- Off-centre front Gothic gable with its paired Roman arch windows and decorative moulding
- Cross-gabled roof (the back gable was removed in the 1970’s when an addition was added)
- Unusual use of a variety of siding materials, including clapboard, shingles and fish scale shingles, to create visually appealing and complex façades
- Wooden cornices on the north and south gables that separate the second and third storeys
- Symmetrical placement of windows on front façade and second storey
- The size, shape and location of the original front windows
- Paired, matching chimneys
A later addition that has become a Character Defining Element in its own right is the Classically-inspired front porch with paired narrow Doric columns, sidelights and semi-circular fanlight that was added in the 1930’s.




Autorité de reconnaissance

City of Summerside

Loi habilitante

Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20

Type de reconnaissance

Designated Heritage Property

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Établir une vie sociale et communautaire
Les institutions religieuses
Exprimer la vie intellectuelle et culturelle
L'architecture et l'aménagement

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction


Logement unifamilial


École primaire ou secondaire

Architecte / Concepteur




Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

MacNaught History Centre and Archives, Wyatt Heritage Properties, P.O. Box 1510, Summerside, PE C1N 4K4

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




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