St. James Church
St. James Rectory
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located at 346 Catharine Street in Port Colborne, St. James Rectory is a two-storey residence built in the Queen Ann Revival style, in two stages: 1875 and 1897. The red brick exterior is highlighted with wood doors, windows, shutters, trim and decorative bargeboard, under the front gable peak.
The building was municipally designated for its heritage value under By-law 2179/127/88.
As conveyed by its name, this building served as the rectory to St. James' Church, which was affectionately nicknamed by locals as the 'marine church' because of the financial contributions received for its construction from Welland Canal ship captains. The older portion of the building was constructed in 1875 as a residence, most likely under the ownership of Lewis G. Carter. This was during a time of rapid growth for Port Colborne with the establishment of new port facilities and industries associated with the Welland Canal. Discussions regarding the need for a rectory had been ongoing since the 1880s, with one reverend leaving the Church due to a lack of a parsonage. The property was purchased in the 1890s for use as a rectory and Reverend Alfred Bonney became the first reverend to occupy the rectory, serving from 1893-1902. Over the next 60 years, eight rectors and their families lived in this building.
The brick two-storey building is a fine example of a vernacular Queen Ann Revival style. It was constructed in two stages, the original structure being built around 1875 as a residence and the westerly portion around 1897 for rectory purposes. The red stretcher bond brick construction of the house is noteworthy as there were very few brick houses in existence in Port Colborne during this period of construction with such a pattern being used. Fenestration is large and varied with elliptical and semi-arched windows and a two-storey high bow window located on the south side of the 1897 portion of the building. Despite the 22 year difference in the construction of the two main sections, many architectural features of the original structure were mimicked in the 1897 addition. The original 1875 and 1897 structures are still largely intact.
The building's contextual significance lies in its wider association with one of Port Colborne's original religious congregations, St. James Church. The rectory played a significant role in the development of religious and community life in Port Colborne. The building itself is important to the atmosphere of the area, which consists of low density residences of varying ages and styles. The continued residential use of the building acts as a reminder of the pre-1900 atmosphere of the area, which is exhibited by larger residences, greater building separation and spacious lots.
Sources: Planning and Development Services Report No. 88-15, City of Port Colborne, 1988; St. James Church, One Hundred Years of History of St. James Church in Port Colborne, Ont. 1863-1963, 1962.
Key character defining elements that exhibit its heritage value include its:
- original 1875 two-storey portion being used as a private residence
- 1897 two-storey rear addition which provided space for rectory purposes for St. James Church, one of Port Colborne's original religious congregations
- stone sidewalk step located at the building's entrance to mark the property of the rectory
- red stretcher bond brick construction
- wrap around wooden porch
- semi-circle windows and arched brick surrounds over the windows in a Palladian theme
- easterly 1875 facade shows two former oval windows which are bordered by brick and now boarded over
- westerly 1897 addition which continues architectural features of the original structure
- decorative wooden trim or gingerbread located at the gables of the 1875 portion of the house
- two-storey high bay window located on the south side of the 1897 section
- “Boston gutters”, an original method of rain collection found in some sections of the roof
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1893/01/01 to 1902/01/01
1897/01/01 to 1897/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Lewis G. Carter
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Port Colborne
Planning and Development Services
66 Charlotte Street
Port Colborne, ON
Cross-Reference to Collection