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St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/08/17

View of front facade, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery (Parish House), Bonavista.; HFNL 1998
Parish House, Bonavista
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Parish House is a two-story Carpenter's Gothic style cottage located on Chapel Hill in Bonavista, Newfoundland. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Parish House has been designated as a heritage building because of its architectural and cultural value.

Architecturally, the Parish House is a brilliant example of vernacular Victorian elaboration. Though the gable-ell plan is rare for the area, it reflects the craftsmanship and detailing common to all of Ronald Stratie's buildings in Bonavista. All of the original building materials of the house are largely intact both inside and out, adding architectural value. The house is also significant because it is a fine example of Ronald Strathie interpretation of the Victorian Carpenter's Gothic building style. Historically, the Strathie family is important due to its long architectural associations with Bonavista. In addition to the Parish House, Ronald Strathie has been responsible for building other notable houses in the region such as the Bridge House.

Culturally, the house is also important because of its associations with the Roman Catholic Church. The Parish House was constructed for the Roman Catholic Church, giving them a place to house Rev. James Brown and all other priests following him. Religious figures of all denominations visiting from out of town would have also stayed in this house. This Parish House was built on the church property, on a hill above the community making it a focal point in Bonavista. Decorative trim and an elaborate roof signified to the community the high social standing of those who lived in the house.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, file # A-017-051, Bonavista - Parish House

Character-Defining Elements

All original features which relate to Ronald Strathie's interpretation of the Victorian Carpenter's Gothic building style, including:
- Multi gabled roof;
- Steeply pitched gables and decorative roof edging:
- Finials of roof peaks ;
- Two-story bay windows;
- Decorative window on first floor, front facade;
- Curved windows on second story;
- Asymmetrical window placement and finials;
- All eaves brackets;
- Rain caps on windows;
- Narrow clapboard; and,
- Building height, number of storeys, dimensions and massing.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

Ronald Strathie



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street, St.John’s Newfoundland A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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