Architectural style - Ontario Heritage Trust


Architectural style

  • 1 Gothic Revival – Commissioner's Gothic

    The Commissioner’s Gothic Revival style originated in England with the Church Building Act of 1818, which made £1 million available in order to build Anglican churches in English suburbs and towns to strengthen the Church of England against the perceived threats of non-conformist congregations, the industrial revolution and societal unrest. The Church Commission perceived Gothic to be the most economical architectural church style, as it could be fashioned from brick and needed only a belfry and lancet windows to distinguish a building as a church. This generally led to buildings resembling the rectangular-shaped, preaching-box churches of the Classically-inspired architect James Gibbs (1682-1754) that were “Gothicized” by the addition of lancet windows and applied Gothic ornament. In Canada, Commissioner’s Gothic churches are characterized by a rectangular-shaped church body with a low-pitched roof and a small chancel; there are lancet windows and shallow or no buttresses. The interior usually presents a hall plan with a west-end organ gallery and an east-end altar. Ontario examples of the style include: St. George’s Anglican Church, St. Catharines; Little Trinity Anglican Church, Toronto; and Old St. Thomas Church, St. Thomas.

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