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Methodist Episcopal Church, Smith’s Falls, ON

October 13, 2016

In 1925 four Canadian denominations merged and became the United Church. Methodists, Congregationalists, the majority of Presbyterians and smaller group called the Association of Local Union Churches were joined in 1968 by the E.U.B., and church buildings that had formerly belonged to individual groups were renamed. So “United Church” buildings are more diverse than their counterparts in the U.S.

Border communities, especially those in southern Ontario, were closer to a much larger pool of A-A types south of the border. And American architects in cities like Detroit and Buffalo received commissions in smaller communities within those market areas. None of this prepared me for the eccentricities of the M. E. church in the Ontario city of Smith’s Falls.

The buildings stands on a large triangular site bounded by Elmsley, Russell, and Market streets and is identified as Trinity United Church of Canada.


The greyed-out black-and-white photograph emphasizes the building’s profile. But on closer inspection the two expected components—auditorium and Sunday School— are there, almost lost behind the aggressive tower forms. This very odd structure deserves more attention.

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