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St. Saviour's Anglican Church

150 Orchard Avenue, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/04/16

150 Orchard Avenue; City of Penticton, c.1940
Historic exterior corner view, c.1940
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Other Name(s)

St. Saviour's Anglican Church
Ellis Chapel

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1929/01/01 to 1937/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2020/01/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Saviour's Anglican Church comprises a stone-faced gothic revival church, a stone faced hall, and Ellis Chapel, a wooden and faced with stone building. A 2003 addition supports a soup kitchen and outreach centre for the less fortunate in Penticton, British Columbia.

Heritage Value

St. Saviour's Anglican Church is valued for its association with the Anglican tradition in Penticton from the earliest years of European settlement to the present day. It comprises a complex of buildings, the earliest which dates from the 1890s, with major construction taking place in the 1930s, the 1960s and 2003.

Constructed in 1891, the oldest building on the site, and the first church in Penticton, is the Ellis Chapel. It is notable for its association with both the pioneer Tom Ellis, known as "the cattle king of the Okanagan" and Penticton's first Reeve, Alfred Wade, to whom the chapel is dedicated. The chapel was originally built on Ellis land in gratitude for the family's "miraculous escape" from a wagon accident. It was moved to the current location and faced with stone in 1934.

The continued growth of the town and its associated need for a larger Anglican Church in Penticton is reflected in the church's continued expansion and number of additions: the first major expansion in the 1930s, followed again in the 1960s and again in 2003.

The church, built in 1930, and church hall, built in 1937, are also associated with other prominent citizens of the City, including Hugh Leir, who donated lumber for the church, and who was a large financial contributor to the 1930 buildings; Reverend John Cleland, an early minister; and Reverend Beams, who was minister during the 1930 construction period, and who was trained as an architect. The cultural legacy of the church is shown by the number of memorial fixtures and plaques associated with leading families in Penticton, such as the stain glass windows in the Ellis Chapel, which are dedicated to members of the Ellis family.

Aesthetically, the 1930 church is valued for its architecture, its use of local materials, and its association with local tradesmen. It was designed by Vancouver architects Twizzle and Burr in the perpendicular gothic style reflected in its tall gothic windows and the large stained glass window at the east end. Its association with local materials includes the use of Skaha Lake stone to face the church, Ellis Chapel, and the church hall, which form an important aesthetic component to the site. The stonework was completed by Nick Biagioni, Penticton's most skilled stonemason.

Socially, the buildings are a testament to the determination of early church members who raised funds to complete and pay for the church during difficult economic times, and who moved the Ellis Chapel to the site. It is also reflective of the continuity of the spiritual tradition that the church was quickly restored after a devastating fire in 1963, and the hall was extended in 1969, and again in 2003 to house a soup kitchen and outreach centre for the less fortunate.

SOURCE: City of Penticton Civic File

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of St. Saviour's Anglican Church include its:

-prominent location of the buildings at the corner of Orchard Avenue and Winnipeg Street
-gothic revival architecture, including tall gothic arched windows, stained glass windows, gothic arched doorways, and the castellated entrance
-large complex of buildings from different eras
-pioneer Ellis Chapel
-local stone used to face the buildings
-extensive memorial items reflecting the history of the City and association with Penticton pioneering families



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Architect / Designer

Twizzle and Burr


Nick Biagioni

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Penticton Civic File

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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