Description of Property
141 Bronte Road
Parcel 74-1, Section M-7, being Lot 74, Plan M-7
Town of Oakville
Regional Municipality of Halton
Plan BA-147 under the Boundaries Act.
Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
Historical SignificanceThe Old Church of the Epiphany at 141 Bronte Road was built in 1931 as the home of the Anglican Church in Bronte.
The first Anglican services in Bronte began in 1909, in the farmhouse of John Wilson with the Reverend J. G. Wallace of St. Jude's Church in Oakville leading the congregation. Every Friday, parishioners walked 2 1/2 miles to Wilson's Farm, located approximately in the area of the present day Coronation Park and Water Pollution Centre. Meetings of the Bronte Anglican Church continued in the Wilson home until 1927, when they were moved to either the Orange Hall or Centriller School, and later into a Baptist Church.
John Wilson and his family would continue to play an important role in the Anglican Church in Bronte for many years. He was born in 1857 to a family of gentlemen farmers in the village of Lorton, near Keswick in the English Lake District. John Wilson and his brother Isaac came to Canada in the 1880's to become farmers. The Wilson brothers had intended to travel to Winnipeg and then to farms on the Prairies, but when visiting Oakville to see a family friend on their journey west, they were so impressed by the Town and the surrounding area that they decided to stay. Isaac Wilson purchased a property in the east of Oakville near the Joshua Creek, while John purchased his property near Bronte on 210 acres of land between Lakeshore Road West and Rebecca Street.
The first vestry meeting of the Bronte Anglican Church was held on January 8, 1930. As this date was two days after the annual celebration of the manifestation of Christ to the Magi, it was decided to give the Bronte Anglican Church the name of "The Church of the Epiphany". John Wilson was appointed first Rector's Warden, and later served as Church Treasurer. His son, Don Wilson, became the first lay delegate to the Synod, a position he would hold for more than 25 years.
In 1931, the original clapboard church building was erected on land donated by John Wilson, bordered by Belyea, East River, Sovereign and Trafalgar (now Bronte Road) Streets. It was built by Frank Sullivan, a local carpenter, who like many during the Depression was out of work at the time. At this point in its history, the Church had 12 member families.
The building was officially dedicated on September 30, 193 1. The Rector of the three point parish, which included St. Luke's at Palermo, Christ Church at Omagh, and Church of Epiphany at Bronte, at the time was the Reverend John Cameron, who served until 1940. As the church grew, the need for a rectory and church hall became apparent. With the arrival of Canon Russel Smith in 1947, work began to build a basement church hall to the north of the original church. This structure had a roof supported by steel girders in order that a second
storey may be built in later years.
In 1956, a Rectory and a new church building were constructed. In that same year, the Church of the Epiphany became recognized as a separate parish.
The old Church of the Epiphany is a 20x30 foot white clapboard building. Although it was built in 1931, the building is reminiscent of the Gothic style of the nineteenth century, with its pointed lancet multi-paned windows, high gable roof, gabled porch and belfry. A tall brick chimney is situated at the rear of the church. The existing doors are in keeping with the original style, however, the original doors had a 3 over 3 multi-paned window, and were painted white.
Note: In 2002, Oakville Council approved the demolition of the old Church of the Epiphany, as described in By-law 1994-175, due to its structural condition. The designation by-law was not repealed at that time. A new church was constructed and a memorial garden commemorates the site of the old Church. The owners have now applied to repeal the by-law.
Any objection to this application to repeal By-law 1994-175 must be filed no later than August 10, 2023. Objections should be directed to the Town Clerk, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, Ontario L6H 0H3.
Further information respecting this application to repeal is available from the Town of Oakville. Any inquiries may be directed to Susan Schappert, heritage planner at 905-845-6601, ext.3870 (TTY 905-338-4200), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last date to file a notice of objection is August 10, 2023.