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St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery Municipal Heritage Building

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/08/14

Front exterior photo view of St. Joseph's Rectory, Chapel Hill, Bonavista, NL, after restoration, 2005; Newfoundland Historic Trust, 2006
St. Joseph's Rectory, Bonavista, NL, 2005
Front and side exterior photo view of St. Joseph's Rectory, Chapel Hill, Bonavista, NL, 2005; Newfoundland Historic Trust, 2006
St. Joseph's Rectory, Bonavista, NL, 2005
Side facade, St. Joseph's Rectory, Chapel Hill, Bonavista, NL, 2005; Newfoundland Historic Trust, 2006
Side profile view of St. Joseph's Rectory, 2005

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/09/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery, also referred to as the Parish House, is a two-storey, Carpenter Gothic style cottage located at 005 Chapel Hill in Bonavista, NL. The municipal heritage designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery (also known as the Rectory, the Parish House or Silver Linings), erected 1900-1901, has been designated as a municipal heritage building because of its architectural and cultural value.

Architecturally, St. Joseph's Presbytery is a good example of vernacular Victorian elaboration and a fine example of historically prominent local builder Ronald Strathie’s interpretation of Carpenter Gothic building style. The building's gable-ell plan is fairly common in period Carpenter Gothic houses, though currently rare in the Bonavista area. Other picturesque Carpenter Gothic features of the Parish House include its steeply pitched roof, gables with finials over windows, arched windows and ornate covered porch. Overall, the house reflects the craftsmanship common to all of Ronald Stratie's buildings in Bonavista.

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery is also culturally significant due to its associations with the Roman Catholic Church in Bonavista. It was built on a hill on Church property, making it a focal point in Bonavista, where its scale, rooflines and level of decoration historically indicated that it belonged to someone with high social standing. The first occupant of the residence was Rev. James Brown, followed by other parish priests over the years. Religious figures of a number of denominations visiting from out of town also often stayed in the house.

Source: Town of Bonavista Town Council meeting minutes of 2006/08/14

Character-Defining Elements

All original features related to the Carpenter Gothic style and the age of the building, including:

- L-layout;
- steep pitched rooflines;
- twin peak window gables in front;
- finials on peaks;
- bay windows;
- decorative window on first floor, front facade;
- arched windows on second storey;
- window placement;
- raincaps on windows;
- placement and style of porch, including roof type;
- decorative porch posts with decorative openwork post brackets;
- narrow, painted clapboard sheathing and wood shingle roofing;
- and building height, number of storeys, dimensions and massing.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



Ronald Strathie

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Bonavista, PO Box 279, Bonavista, NL, A0C 1B0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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