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St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church

836 Arlington Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/05/19

Primary elevation, from the southeast, of St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Primary Elevation
View down the nave of  St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
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Other Name(s)

St. Edward's
St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1913/01/01 to 1913/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church, constructed in 1913, is a large red brick structure that looms above the surrounding houses on its busy street in an older, west Winnipeg neighbourhood. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint, along with the following interior elements: the stained-glass windows and the organ.

Heritage Value

St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church is an impressive Italian Romanesque-style building whose bold facade, exuberant interior and proximity to the street create a major presence in a working-class district filled with modest houses. The building also recalls the ambitions of the parish leadership and the congregation, which grew dramatically over the course of only five years, from its formation in 1908, when the first rough wooden church was built, to 1913, when the faithful numbered in the hundreds and this major project was completed. That St. Edward was designed by David Wynyard Bellhouse, an English-born architect with wide experience in European design schools, underlines the importance placed by the diocese on the congregation - mostly Irish, English and Scottish immigrants - and the church. St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church continues to occupy an important place in the community, and now serves a mainly Filipino congregation.

Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Planning and Community Services Meeting Minute, August 24, 1987

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church site include:
- its placement on a corner site along Arlington Street in a residential area composed of modestly sized houses
- its east-west orientation and its relationship with an adjoining school and playground

Key elements that define the Italian Romanesque style of the exterior of the church include:
- its grand scale and vertical emphasis produced by its massive front arch, high basement, pronounced staircases, buttresses, projecting apse, etc.
- its two-part gable roof that ends in an elaborate pediment on the main face
- its red brick walls rising in bays divided by brick buttresses with stone caps, most bays containing groupings of three stained-glass windows
- the pale stone lug sills and a high belt course providing contrast along the walls, with the contrasting stone further outlining the geometric shapes and ornamentation across the front of the church, including a prominent hood-mould over the arched entrance and two belt courses leading into the archway opening
- the fine detailing of the checkered brickwork around the main entrance that is amplified in the peak of the parapet, which is topped by a stone Celtic cross
- the variety of windows, including the circular window within the front archway inset with a cross and the many round-headed windows, particularly the 10 sets along the nave, grouped in threes
- the varied roofline of the rounded apse to the rear, flanked with the flat roofs of the vestry and caretaker's apartment and surmounted by the plain west gable pediment

Key elements that define the heritage character of the church's interior include:
- the layout and nave seating on a basilica plan, with the floor sloping down to the altars
- the stained-glass windows, in brilliant gem tones, that light the aisles
- the rich ornamentation of the walls, featuring 12 medallions depicting the apostles over the stained-glass windows, painted wainscotting and murals over the rounded openings of the side altars
- the elaborate painted domes over the large centre altar and two adjoining altars
- the superior craftsmanship of the ornate wood and plaster centre altar with faux marble finish
- the Casavant Freres pipe organ in the choir loft over the entrance
- the other interior ornamentation and furnishings, including the coffered ceiling, golden oak pews, richly detailed plaster statues of saints and stations of the cross, etc.
- the basement, containing a church hall with a checkered terrazzo floor, a kitchen and a stage




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer

David Wynyard Bellhouse



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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