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St. Paul's United Church National Historic Site of Canada

500 George Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/02/23

Corner view of St. Paul's United Church, showing the steeply pitched roofs and the corner tower with its tall spire, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agency Parcs Canada, 1993.
Corner view
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

A severely handsome example of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style, St. Paul’s United Church National Historic Site of Canada features the bold muscularity of the style, meshing historical revival details from several periods, richly varied and textured materials, and a voluminous interior designed for excellent acoustics. Located in downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick, the church with its tall spire is a city landmark. Official recognition refers to the building on it legal property as of 1990.

Heritage Value

St. Paul’s United Church was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1990 because:
- it is a fine representative example of the High Victorian Gothic Revival Style.

Fashionable in Canada during the second half of the 19th century, the High Victorian Gothic Revival style is marked by a bold and vigorous approach to design, which freely interprets earlier Gothic precedents. This former Presbyterian church, built in 1886, features typical stylistic features including a soaring corner tower, intersecting roof ridges, richly varied details, and rusticated and polychrome stonework. The rose window, derived from the French Gothic, indicates a new openness toward non-English design sources at this time. The huge interior well is surrounded on three sides by a capacious sloping balcony and features pews arranged in a semi-circle so that they face the pulpit and the large Casavant organ. The sumptuous interior decor includes rich Gothic-inspired woodwork, decorative painting, stained glass, and a vaulted ceiling.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, February 1990, and November 1993.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- those aspects which speak to the High Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, namely the two-storey elevations, the steeply pitched roofs, triple portal, the corner tower with its tall spire, the varied textures of the stone masonry and the use of polychromy notable in the dark stone stringcourses, foundations, quoins, and window surrounds;
- the interior plan with large auditory hall, pews and canted balcony arranged in a semi-circle;
- the Gothic-inspired interior decor with stained glass windows, historically derived detailing including the rose window, rich woodwork, decorative painting and vaulted ceiling.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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