Home / Accueil

Reformed Mennonite Meeting House

269, Killaly Street West, Port Colborne, Ontario, L3K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/07/17

Front side of the former Reformed Mennonite Meeting House at 269 Killaly Street West; City of Port Colborne website
Reformed Mennonite Meeting House
Image of the former Reformed Mennonite Meeting House at 269 Killaly Street West, Port Colborne; Photograph taken by Callie Hemsworth, Brock University, 2007
Former Reformed Mennonite Meeting House
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Reformed Mennonite Meeting House, Port Colborne's oldest existing church structure, is a simple rectangular structure of red clay brick, built in 1872. The building is distinguished by a few Italianate details and occupies the spacious corner lot of 269 Killaly Street West.

The property was municipally designated for its heritage value by the City of Port Colborne under By-law No. 3206/78/95.

Heritage Value

During a time when the migration of Mennonites to Upper Canada was increasing, the Reformed Mennonite Meeting House provided a meeting place for social and religious activities and contributed significantly to the cultural development of Humberstone Township, now Port Colborne. Now a private residence, the former meeting house is a familiar neighbourhood landmark for residents of Port Colborne.

The building is believed to be the oldest surviving church building in Port Colborne, and the original structure has been almost perfectly preserved. The meeting house is associated with Mennonites first settling in Port Colborne during the 1790s. The designated property was once owned by Abraham Neff Sr., one of Humberstone Township's earliest settlers, coming to Upper Canada shortly after the Revolutionary War.

After making a visit to Humberstone in 1833 Bishop John Herr of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, returned home and encouraged fellow Mennonites to emigrate. The Reformed Mennonite organization arose after these early years of immigration.

The brick structure was erected in 1872 by the Trustees of the Mennonite Church of Humberstone (Jonas Augustine, Christian Knisely and Wilson Near). For more than 100 years, the meeting house served the Reformed Mennonite congregation. It was later sold to Tykes Holdings Ltd. when the congregation was consolidated with the Mennonite church at Stevensville. The Reformed Mennonite Meeting House is the only remaining structure of its age in the area. Now a private residence, the former meeting house is a familiar neighbourhood landmark for residents of Port Colborne.

The simple design of the building reflects the Reformed Mennonite principle of minimalism and the avoidance of worldliness. Since its construction in 1872, the meeting house has undergone very little change, allowing the careful preservation of the original building. The symmetrical, rectangular structure set on a foundation of random coursed field stone has a small vestibule off of the back and a simple gable roof with wooden eaves and fascia. The front-gabled structure with medium-pitched roof has a few Italianate details and all of the windows are identical with brick arches mimicking the curved tops of the windows. The wood plank floor and simple board wainscot embody the well-preserved character of the interior, and the architecture appears uninterrupted by modern use.

Sources: By-law No. 3206/78/95; Report No. 95-20; Heritage Designation file - 269 Killaly St. W., City of Port Colborne, 1995.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the property include its:
- century-long use as a venue for holding religious and social activities of the Mennonite community
- sash weights and cords that are still in place on most of the windows
- foundation of random coursed field stone
- simple rectangular shape clad in buff and red clay brick exterior
- windows and doors with segmented arched heads
- wide panelled entrance at the south end of the building, framed by brick
- simple gable roof with wood eaves and fascia




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Services Department City of Port Colborne 66 Charlotte Street City Hall Port Colborne, ON L3K 3C8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places