St. Andrew's on the Square
St. Andrew's Church
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
St. Andrew's United Church
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located at the corner of Seymour Street and Second Avenue in the heart of downtown Kamloops, St. Andrew’s on the Square is a prominent, late Victorian Gothic Revival church with an offset square front tower and spire. A large public square is now located to the east side, but is not included in the formal recognition.
St. Andrew’s on the Square is significant as a community facility and focal point that has served the changing social and religious needs of Kamloops residents for well over a century.
Built in 1887, the church is valued as the City’s oldest public building. In response to the growth of the city and the expansion of the original local Presbyterian congregation, the church was built on land donated by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) at a location that was then on the outskirts of town. Construction funds were raised largely by CPR employees, many of whom were of Scottish descent. The church served a Presbyterian congregation until 1925, when unification resulted in the formation of the United Church of Canada. In 1942, it was purchased by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and renamed Calvary Temple. During the late 1950s and 1960s, this site housed the largest Sunday School in Canada. Over the years, the church was also used by various groups for meetings, as a badminton hall and as a gymnasium.
This historic place is also valued for its association with the Reverend Phil Gaglardi (1913-1995), one-time provincial Minister of Highways famed for the expansion of B.C.’s road and ferry systems, who led the church during a period that included a restoration in 1945 and the construction of a large addition to the south in 1958.
The church also has social value as a successful community centre and reception hall. In 1991, after a period of decline, the building was bought by the City to prevent demolition. In 1996, through the collective efforts of tireless volunteers, the Kamloops Heritage Society, the City of Kamloops and a grant from the B.C. Heritage Trust, St. Andrew's Church was restored to its original exterior appearance and reopened for public use in association with the adjacent public square.
St. Andrew’s on the Square is valued as a noteworthy late Victorian example of the Gothic Revival style, as seen in its impressive Gothic pointed-arch windows, steeple, corner buttresses and scalloped wooden roof ridge. The window sash are fitted with stained-glass panels donated by various firms and residents since 1999.
Furthermore, the Church is a significant surviving example of the work of influential architect, civil engineer, surveyor and politician Robert Henry Lee (1859-1935), who was responsible for laying out the townsites of Nicola, Merritt and Princeton, and produced architectural designs for numerous residences, a Roman Catholic Church, a branch of the Bank of B.C. and this church. Lee was active in civic affairs, serving on the first Kamloops Council in 1893, and as mayor from 1894 to 1896.
Source: City of Kamloops Planning Department
Key elements that define the heritage character of St. Andrew’s on the Square include its:
- corner location in downtown Kamloops on Seymour Street at Second Avenue
- continuous use as a public facility
- ecclesiastical form, scale and massing, as expressed by its steeply-pitched, cedar-shingled cross-gabled roof with open eaves, detailed mouldings and notched whalebone-pattern bargeboards; square corner tower with entryway; and steeple with gabled louvered vents, fishscale shingles, decorative metal cap and vane
- wood-frame construction, with original wooden drop siding with cornerboards and scroll-cut trim
- late Victorian vernacular Gothic Revival detailing, such as wooden tracery in Gothic pointed-arch windows, and stepped buttresses
- interior features, including a vaulted ceiling with a checkerboard of diagonally-patterned wooden panelling
- proximity to the public square and mature deciduous trees
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
Function - Category and Type
- Recreation Centre
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Robert Henry Lee
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kamloops Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection