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St. Mary's Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church

10765 135A Street, Surrey, British Columbia, V3T, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/11/02

Exterior view of St. Mary's Church, 2004; City of Surrey 2004
oblique view
Exterior view of historic plaque, side of church, 2004; City of Surrey 2004
exterior view
Exterior view of historic plaque, side of church, 2004; City of Surrey 2004
exterior view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1950/01/01 to 1955/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Mary's Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church is located in a mixed commercial and residential part of the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey. Its distinctive roof form is a landmark in the area.

Heritage Value

St. Mary's Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church is significant as a landmark place of worship for over half a century. A large population of Ukrainian-Canadians were among the many groups of people that settled in Whalley, and they soon recognized the need for their own place of worship. After the church property was purchased about 1948, through donations and fundraising, construction on the church began in 1950, and was completed in 1955 with volunteer labour. The use of the historical style for the church, at a time when many churches chose to build in new modern styles, indicated a strong desire to maintain a distinct community identity. St. Mary's is valued for its traditional Greek-Orthodox architectural features, such as the cross gabled roof on a Greek cross plan, with an octagonal dome over the central interior space. The interior also features traditional elements such as a carved iconostasis screen. It remains a symbol of the Ukrainian community, and traditional Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox services are still held at St. Mary's.

St. Mary's is also significant for its association with the development of the Whalley neighbourhood, which originated as a local service centre after the Pacific Highway was paved in 1923. This became a favoured location for auto-based businesses, and local growth accelerated with the opening of the Pattullo Bridge in 1937, and the completion of the King George Highway in 1940. The transportation corridors throughout the area facilitated rapid settlement after the end of the Second World War.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of St. Mary's Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church include its:
- location near the centre of Whalley;
- continuous use as a Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox church;
- form, scale and massing as expressed in the complex three dimensional articulation, Greek cross plan, bell towers flanking the central entry and a central octagonal dome marking the crossing of the transepts;
- traditional elements of Greek-Orthodox church architecture, including the concave flared octagonal dome and octagonal turret roofs surmounted by Orthodox crosses, round-arched window openings and the interior cruciform volume;
- wood frame construction, with wooden siding under the later vinyl siding;
- exterior elements such as: sheet metal cladding on the domed roofs; square, partially inset bell towers on each side of the central front entry; complex fenestration with multi-paned single-assembly sash surmounted with round-arched tops with fan pattern muntins; and a single octagonal window above the front entry;
- interior elements such as: a carved iconostasis screen and coloured glass panels in the windows;
- twin brass name plaques flanking the central front entry, in English and Ukrainian; and
- associated landscape structures such as a wrought iron fence with concrete fence posts and a concrete arch marking the entrance.



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

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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