St Andrew's Church, North Vancouver, 1912

St. Andrew’s United Church at 1044 St. George’s Avenue in the City of North Vancouver was built in 1912. The architects were Alexander and Brown. However, the first St. Andrew’s, which at that time was a Presbyterian Church, was located on East 6th Street facing Victoria Park and built in 1904. The “new” church built in 1912 is the one we see today, a shingle-clad adaptation in the Gothic Revival style.

The Gothic style, of course, was a medieval architecture popular in the 12th-16th century, which was very fond of pointy arches and stained-glass windows, over time becoming more and more pointy, frilly and buttressy.

Photo of St Andrews church

Gothic Revival architecture varied considerably in its faithfulness to both the ornamental style and principles of construction of its medieval original, sometimes amounting to little more than pointed window frames and touches of Gothic decoration on a building otherwise on a wholly 19th-century plan and using contemporary materials and construction methods, most notably in the use of iron and, after the 1880s, steel in ways never seen in medieval exemplars. [wikipedia]

The revival style celebrated a nostalgia for pre-industrial times and it seems to me, this church combines that with influences from the Arts and Crafts movement with the use of wood shingle siding and the square style of the windows.

Arts and Crafts and Gothic revival share a nostalgia, an anti-industrialism and medieval fascination.

Photo of the church

In the "Express North Vancouver B.C., Tuesday April 23, 1912" [with many thanks to the UBC Open Archives historical collection] we read that the corner stone was laid on that day.

Screen short of newspaper article

Apparently there is a time capsule behind the corner stone. And even in 1912, there was product placement for the paint selected (Aug 13, 1912)


Screen shot of newspaper article

In 1925 the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational Churches in Canada joined together to form the United Church of Canada. The following year, 1926, two churches in North Vancouver, Sixth Street Methodist at the south west corner of St. Georges Avenue which had opened in 1910, and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian joined to form St. Andrew’s United Church. At the time of the union, St. Andrew’s had a membership of 340 and the value of its property was $19,000. Sixth Street Methodist had a membership of 140 and the value of its property was $7,050.

[Excerpt from the book Heritage Inventory, City of North Vancouver, 1994. Reference: St. Andrew’s United Church, North Vancouver, 1925-1975 a history by J.S. Terry taken from St Andrews website]

The building has recently been upgraded and repainted - it seemed to us this may have been so that the church could be used for a movie. Looking to find out more about that!

Glad to read this on the St Andrews website: St. Andrew’s United Church gathers on the unceeded territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Indigenous peoples. As people of faith, we commit to listen, to learn, and to work towards justice and reconciliation with our First Nations brothers and sisters as well as "St. Andrew’s United Church is an open and affirming congregation where people are welcome regardless of race, class, economic background, or sexual orientation. "

I'm hoping to soon find time to examine the church's interior. For now, the video below gives a fly-by of the church to celebrate the upgrade. And should you crave coffee, Andrews on Eighth another heritage building from 1912, is just a few blocks away!


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