St. Andrew’s Church seeks designation under the Ontario Heritage Act

At the recent meeting of the Municipal Heritage Committee (Apr. 19/23), Linda Doll brought forward a presentation on behalf of the Trustees and Congregation of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Southampton to Designate the Property under Part IV, Section 29, of the Ontario Heritage Act.

‘The following is from the Municipal Heritage Committee delegation’

Religious institutions and their places of worship have played an important role in the life of Southampton’s community since pioneer days. Within that context, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church has the oldest congregation and continues to provide services in the oldest church building in the town.

The role of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in the establishment of the Southampton community cannot be overstated. Marriages, funerals, burials, baptisms, and many social services were provided by Church ministers, managers, and volunteers through Church organizations at a time when government funded-social services were virtually non-existent.The building at 47 Albert St. N. is one of six historic buildings in Southampton with ecclesiastical origins that have contributed to Southampton’s built heritage. One has been repurposed as a private residence and five continue to operate as active places of worship today

The subject property, St. Andrew’s, is the oldest actively used church building in Southampton. Clad in local buff brick, it is a fine example of Gothic Revival Style, featuring a rectangular form with a pitched roof and centre gable, paired lancet windows, and a large Gothic arch window on the façade. The property is intricately linked to the pioneer settlement of Southampton and to the establishment of the Presbyterian Church in the immediate community, and within the County of Bruce.” (Apr. 19 delegation)

Contextually, the building is integral to the heritage streetscape of predominantly 19th century buildings on Albert St. N, stretching between the Saugeen River and High Street.

The conservation of cultural heritage resources is an integral component of good planning, contributing to a sense of place, economic prosperity, and healthy and equitable communities. Heritage conservation in Ontario is identified as a provincial interest under the Planning Act. Cultural heritage resources are considered irreplaceable and valuable assets that must be wisely protected and managed as part of planning for future growth under the Provincial Policy Statement (2020). Heritage Conservation is enabled through the Ontario Heritage Act, which the Saugeen Shores Official Plan supports with additional policies specified.

The church building described by Crawford was erected in 1852 on lot 8, at the south-west corner of High St. and Albert St. South. Alexander McNabb helped fund the construction and brought windows from Toronto. In 1861, the Free Presbyterians demolished it, sold the land, and held services in the new Village Hall at 38 Albert St. N., which later became the Masonic Hall. Kenneth Barker, in his book entitled Presbyterianism in Grey Bruce, writes that “… on Tuesday, September 10, 1861, Rev. George McDonnell of Fergus conducted a service in the Southampton Village Hall … it was attended by over thirty people” (p. 18). Today, this historic building survives as a private residence at 38 Albert St N, across the street from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

The church in its new location has three cornerstones: One dated 1862 for the original building situated on Clarendon St, a second dated 1887 (for when the building was moved to 47 Albert St N and covered with brick), and a third dated 1912 for when the Church was extended with the addition of double towers and entrances.

To ready the full delegation with photos and history … CLICK HERE