M991.9.1.70 | St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Guelph, 1870

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Guelph, 1870
26 April 1870, 19th century
Silver salts on paper - Albumen process
7 x 5 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Guelph Museums
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Keys to History

John McCrae's strong Scottish Presbyterian upbringing in Guelph, Ontario explains much about his outlook on life and his sense of duty to God, his country and his fellow man.

John's father, David, was an elder of the church and superintendent of the Sunday school. The family was known to have attended church more than once a week.

To this day, a pew in the church bears a plaque indicating where the McCrae family sat.

  • What

    St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is a limestone building designed in the Perpendicular Gothic Revival style popular in Victorian Ontario.

  • Where

    St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is located near downtown Guelph, in one of the city's older neighbourhoods.

  • When

    Construction of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church began in 1857 and was completed in time for the first service on September 20, 1858.

  • Who

    St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church was designed by Scottish architect William Hays (1818-1888) an enthusiast for Gothic style architecture. After training in Scotland, Hay immigrated to Canada, and built an Anglican cathedral in St. John's, Newfoundland before moving to Toronto. There some of his notable work included St. Basil's Church and St. Michael's College. David Allan (1808-1896), a builder and miller in Guelph, supervised the construction and personally paid for the completion of the church spire. David Allan is memorialized in one of the stained-glass windows of the church.