Thu, 23 Sep 2021
On September 13, 2021, Oakville Town Council resolved to pass a Notice of Intention to Designate the following property under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.18, as amended, as a property of cultural heritage value and interest:
St. John’s United Church
262 Randall Street,
LTS A & B & PT LTS D & E BLK 4, PL 1, PT 1, 20R17371; OAKVILLE. S/T EASE IN FAVOUR OF PT LTS D & E, BLK 4, PL 1, PT 2, 20R17371 OVER PTS 1 & 2, 20R17445 AS IN HR611286.
The St. John’s United Church property is located at the southeast corner of Randall Street and Dunn Street in downtown Oakville. The property contains a 19th and early 20th century brick church building known as St. John’s United Church.
The church property has cultural heritage value for its Gothic Revival church building and Neo-Gothic Lusk Hall addition. These structures are well-executed examples of their styles and display a high degree of craftsmanship.
The Gothic Revival style was prevalent in Ontario from 1830-1900 and very common in churches of all Christian denominations. In the latter half of the century, during which time the St. John’s United Church building was constructed, the style was influenced not only by Gothic architecture from England but from central and southern Europe as well. The subject church building contains the hallmark of this style, the pointed lancet window, which is embellished throughout with polychromatic brickwork that echoes the window’s pointed arch. The church’s Gothic Revival style is also evident in its steep roof with cross gables, buttresses, quatrefoil windows and date marker, as well as the Gothic style details in the dichromatic brickwork.
The Neo-Gothic style used for Lusk Hall was a more understated version of the Gothic style, prevalent in the first half of the 20th century and most common in scholastic buildings. Whereas Gothic style churches were heavily decorated in picturesque details like lancet windows pointing to the heavens, Neo-Gothic structures adopted some of the Gothic elements but applied them on a simpler and often larger scale for institutional buildings. Lusk Hall contains many of the features typical of this style, including decorative buttresses, a parapet with a battlement motif, monochromatic brickwork, a multiplicity of muntins in the windows, and arched doorways and windows.
The subject property has cultural heritage value for its direct associations with St. John’s United Church and its roots as a Methodist Church. The Wesleyan Methodist Church in Oakville was established in the early 1830s after two decades of church services being organized by saddle-bag preachers, or circuit riders. The church built its first structure in the 1830s and after being moved to a handful of buildings, finally settled in the current structure in 1877 which has been its home ever since.
The property is also directly associated with the development of Oakville throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Many individuals who played a significant role in the development of Oakville attended the church and made important contributions to the church and the town over the years. The original 1877 church building and the 1923 Lusk Hall together have been significant buildings within the church community itself, but also within the larger community of Oakville. In addition to regular church services and group meetings, the space has hosted innumerable events such as weddings, funerals, baptisms, fundraisers – ordinary but significant occasions that are fundamental to the everyday life of a small town community.
The property also has contextual value as a landmark within downtown Oakville. The church building is important in defining, maintaining and supporting the character of downtown as an integral part of its fabric. As is the case in all small Ontario towns, as Oakville was when the structure was built, churches and their easily recognizable steeples are significant and familiar landmarks that define a downtown area. St. John’s United Church is physically, functionally, visually and historically linked to its surroundings and not only provides a physical link to Oakville’s past but continues to define the downtown area in the present.
Key attributes of the property which embody the cultural heritage value of St. John’s United Church include the following, as they relate to the north, east, south and west exterior elevations of the 1877 church building:
Key attributes of the property which embody the cultural heritage value of St. John’s United Church include the following, as they relate to the interior of the 1877 church building:
Further information respecting this proposed designation is available from the Town of Oakville. Any inquiries may be directed to Carolyn Van Sligtenhorst, 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 October 25, 2021.