Vogan Residence

Creating a home in a former church

Formerly: Wesleyan Methodist Church
Address: 332 Kettleby Road, Kettleby (King Township)
Built: 1873
Adapted: 1966

The Vogan home at 332 Kettleby Road is not a typical house – it occupies the village of Kettleby’s former Wesleyan Methodist church. Wesleyan Methodist became a United Church in 1925 and continued in religious use until the mid-1960s, when it was sold and became a private residence.

Gary Vogan, the present owner, notes that “the church was not designed to live in,” as the original space did not have plumbing, electricity or storage. Introducing these elements to a building can be challenging.

Other changes were made to facilitate occupancy. Rooms and a mezzanine were framed with beams salvaged from an old barn. When the original foyer was replaced, the Vogans discovered that the building code required that the piping run vertically. This stipulation led to the construction of a full fireplace that contains all of the services. Although the changes were functional, they did not detract from the interior’s original quality. The front room of the home remains open-concept, enabling the Vogans to display their extensive collection of Canadiana.

Both exterior and interior adaptations were contextual in their execution, enhancing Kettleby’s vernacular architecture. Modest, they also demonstrate the value of “contained” alterations to neighbourhood heritage. Part of the Vogans’ success is that they took an additive and reversible approach to converting this unheated country church, working within the building envelope to keep costs down and to preserve the building’s scale.