MANITO - SEXTONdigital - Dalhousie University

MANITO - SEXTONdigital - Dalhousie University



Editor's Desk

Part V of the Proceedings consists of a paper given at the 1985 SSAC

Annual Conference held at Bishop's University. The co-authors are Thora

Cartlidge, a heritage consultant and owner of Sundog Heritage Planning

and Sheila Grover, an architectural historian and SSAC Director for


The Manitoba issues March and june were assembled by the efforts

of john Lehr, Neil Einarson and Sheila Grover. The artiles selected provide

some indications of the complex factors which have been at work

in Manitoba to influence that regions' visual heritage and built environment.

These papers provide a useful introduction to the 1986 Annual

Conference in that topics such as prairie vernacular, prairie towns and

suburbs will all be major sessions for the meeting. Additionally, Greg

Thomas' "Lower Fort Garry National Park" will be one of the many

destinations of the 31 May 1986 bus tour.

Issue Number 3 will be on the Maritimes and is being organized by

Richard Mackinnon. Anyone with suitable material for this broad theme

should contact Richard at 656 George St., Sydney, N.S. BlP 2L2

(telephone 902-539-5300 ext. 395).

As a final note, the December BULLETIN at forty pages exceeded

the budget normally allocated for our quarterly. However it did begin

to indicate the potential for this publication. Before this potential can

be realized the Society requires more financial support and that simply

put, means more members. Please make that extra effort to bring a new

member to the SSAC. Additional copies of the December BULLETIN

are available for $5.00 (postage paid) from Mark Fram, No. 302, 221

Russell Hill Road, Toronto, Ontario M4V 2T3 or SSAC, P.O. Box 2302,

Station D, Ottawa, Ontario KlP 5W5


Albert Kahn

Don Lovell


Can you supply me with Gerald T. Bloomfield's address. I thought

he would be interested in knowing we have a Canadian Bank of Commerce

very similar in style, the enclosed photocopy is the building as

it appeared in wartime and as it does today. It is a desgnated heritage

structure in the City of Halifax. We have a set of blue prints of the building

which are dated revised August 20, 1906; September 15th and September

24, 1906, job number 303. They bear the name of Albert Kahn, Achitect;

Ernest Wilby, Associate, Detroit, Michigan. The local architect involved

with the building was Sydney P. Dumaresq. The building inspection

permit was taken out on the 22 August, 1906 by S.M. Brookfield Limited

for $100,000.00 and there is an article in the Halifax Morning Herald

for the 02 March, 1908 upon the completion of the building.

Garry D. Shutlak

Map/Architecture Archivist

Public Archives, Nova Scotia

The December issue of the BULLETIN is excellent-! am very pleased

with the presentation of the Kahn article. I had not expected that the

paper would be published so quickly or so efficiently. Your work as editor

of the BULLETIN is very much appreciated.

G.T. Bloomfield

Department of Geography

College of Social Science

University of Guelph

Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1

Bulletin Publication Schedule

The publication schedule for 1986 is: #3

Volume 11,1986


September -Maritime Issue

organizer Richand Mackinnon

December - Quebec Issue

organizer Nadine Corbel

Papers presented at the 1984 and 1985 annual meetings are published

in the Proceedings section of the Bulletin. Manuscripts should follow

the University of Chicago Press Manual of Style and should be forwarded

complete with photographs to the Editorial Board; S.S.A.C., P.O. Box

2302, Station D, Ottawa, KlP 5W5. Book reviews and other material of

a more informal nature such as notices and announcements should be

sent directly to the Book Review Editor or Bulletin Editor respectively.

Addresses for these individuals are found on the back cover. Contributions

of this type should arive a month prior to the publication month.

For example to be considered for the March issue copy must arrive early

in February.



Christina Cameron

CIHB, Parks Canada

Less Terrasses de Ia Chaudiere

Ottawa, Ontario KlA 1G2

Past President

john Lehr

Department of Geography

University of Winnipeg

515 Portage Ave.,

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9


Douglas Franklin

30 Renfrew Ave.,

Ottawa, Ontario KlS 1Z5


Dana johnson

1470 Edgecliff Ave.,

Ottawa, Ontario KlZ 8G1


Neil Einarson

llB-1 Roslyn Road,

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L OGl

Bulletin Editor

Don Lovell

2875 Haliday Cres.,

Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 3N1

office (613) 994-2231

res. 827-1172

office (204) 786-7811

ext. 234

res. 256-4586

office (613) 237-1867

res. 236-5395

office (613) 994-2866

res. 729-3073

office (204) 945-4390

res. 284-8783

office (604) 753-8217

res. 758-9744

Membership fees are payable on 1 january of each year at the following

rates: Student $10.00, Individual/Family $20.00, Organization, Corporation,

Institution $30.00. Make cheque payable to SSAC. Further information

on membership dues can be obtained from the Membership

Secretary, Box 2302, Station 'D', Ottawa, Ontario, KlP 5W5 . Opinions

expressed herein are those of their authors and not necessarily those

of the Society. The Bulletin is not responsible for unsolicited material.

City of Halifax, 1906 Canadian Bank of Commerce by Albert Kahn

bears remarkable likeness to the Walkerville Bank also by Kahn.

COVER: Winnipeg Electric Railway Company, 16 June 1921, Notre Dame

Avenue and Albert Street.


ISSN No. 0228-0744

Indexed in the Canadian Periodicals Index

Printing and typesetting: Quadra Graphics Ltd., Nanaimo, B.C.

Letters Con't.


I have read the notice for MEETING PLACES: TORONTO'S CITY

HALLS in the SSAC BULLETIN December 1985, (Conferences and Exhibitions,

p. 40).

As the description indicates, a remarkable diversity of material was

assembled for this exhibition. Resulting from thorough research and

scholarly study, its accompanying commentary and analysis greatly

enlarged the viewers' understanding of the importance of these structures

to our urban life and increased our protective regard for the existing

city halls.

When it is recalled that E.J. Lennox's building came perilously close

to demolition following the erection of the new city hall, it must be

acknowledged that the curators of MEETING PLACE have done the city

a great service.

Not to have included their names in the notice is an inexcusable oversight.

For SSAC's information they are Douglas Richardson and Stephen

Otto, founding members of the Society.

Shirley G. Moriss

Mississauga, Ontario

Cook's Creek Church, Manitoba, 1963.

It was kind of you to include the list of entries from the Canadian

Encyclopedia in the latest (and very impressive) issue of the SSAC

BULLETIN (December 1985). My hope is that readers will be able to refer

to this list for quick reference to the important topics relating to architecture

and architects in Canada.

However, I must say that it was regretable that such scant coverage

was given in this issue to the important exhibit on our City Halls (see

page 40). Even more regretable was the fact that no acknowledgement

was given to Prof. Douglas Richardson and to Stephen Otto, both of whom

are charter members of the SSAC, and both of whom are responsible

for nearly five months of research, organization and preparation of the

exhibit catalogue (soon to be released by Boston Mills Press).

Would it be possible for a correction or an addendum to appear in

the next issue of the BULLETIN which acknowledges the substantial

amount of time and effort which two of our members have made on the

subject of the history of our Toronto city halls?

Robert G. Hill, MRAIC

Editor, Biographical Dictionary

of Architects in Canada


NOTE: Mr. Hill has kindly agreed to help the BULLETIN find a reviewer

for the City Halls Exhibit and Catalogue.


Volume 11, Number 1


James Avenue Pumping Station

by Thora Cartilidge and Sheila Grover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4



Father Philip Ruh: Missionary-priest and Builder

by Gloria Romaniuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

The Abbey of Our Lady of the Prairies

by Christopher Hosgood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Books-Livres ....... . ... . .... .. . . . ... . .. .... .. .... 11

News from Across Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Douglas Richardson, an associate professor in the Department of Fine

Art at the University of Toronto and Stephen Otto, a member of the

Toronto Historical Board were the guest curators for the Market Gallery,

"Meeting Places-Toronto's City Halls, 1834 to Present"- exhibit.




James Avenue

Pumping Station


by Thora Cartlidge and Sheila Grover



In recent years the Canadian heritage movement has discovered the

importance of industrial technology in the evolution of Canada's built

environment. Not only has this industrial technology influenced Canada's

social and economic history, the adaptation of this technology has had

a substantial impact on the physical development of our urban communities.

A case in point is the james Avenue Pumping Station in Win·

nipeg, Manitoba. This historic station, which is still in daily operation,

pumps water for the exclusive purpose of fighting fires. It utilizes its

own grid of high pressure water lines and hydrants which are separate

from the domestic water system.

The james Avenue Pumping Station opened in 1906, a masterpiece

of mechanical technology. It employed huge flywheels, pumps and

engines which are still in use today. The equipment is housed in the

original building and routinely performs the same service of fire protection

it has since the early years of this century.

Winnipeg in those years was in a period of remarkable growth, not

the punch-drunk days of its 1882 boom, but the self-assured steady growth

that derived from its prominence as the gateway to the northwest. From

its frontier days of the 1880's, with a population of only 8,000, Winnipeg

could boast of 42,000 people in 1901. That population figure was to double

again before this pumping station opened in 1906.' Faced with a neverending

demand for services, City Council attempted to run the city like

a business, with an eye to cost efficiency and a blind spot to the social


A thriving warehouse district emerged around the railway spur lines,

while the adjacent financial district and retail shops ran along Main Street

and Portage Avenue. This commercial district was disproportionately

large for the city as a whole, proof to westerners that Winnipeg was indeed

destined to be the "Chicago of the North".

Because of its commercial dominance, architecture in the city

reflected state of the art in building technology. Masonry buildings, which

were generally warehouses or combined offices for the wholesale trade,

had been pushed to their upper limit of six or seven storeys. Structural

steel and concrete had provided the skeleton for skyscrapers to reach

higher still and Winnipeg was proud of its tall new office towers. But

both the scale and the concentration of the buildings was a source of

concern for the fire department as well as for the fire insurance underwriters.

Winnipeg's domestic water supply, pumped from artesian wells,

could simply not guarantee the kind of pressure or volume that fire

fighters needed to fight a major blaze. Horse-drawn steam engines,

chemical pumpers and hose reels could only afford as much protection

as the deficient pressure permitted.


The original urban water system, which consisted of pumping up

river water, was replaced by a city-owned artesian well system in 1899. 2

As pure as the artesian water may have been, the volume was still low

and the pressure varied. During an emergency situation, such as the

Ashdown Hardware fire in October 1904, the old river water pump

system was re-activated to supplement pressure to fight the fire. Polluted

river water poured uncontrolled into the domestic water supply and days

later, nearly 1,300 adults and children came down with the dreaded

typhoid fever.'

On top of the typhoid epidemic, City Council came under criticism

from the Fire Underwriters' Association. There was not, they argued

in a 1904 report, enough water to ensure proper protection of valuable

downtown buildings and contents.• Fires were a constant threat in a

climate that required buildings to be heated at least six months of the

year. While modern buildings had guaged boilers, many structures were

heated by stoves that could easily overheat or were left unattended

through long winter nights.• Building and fire codes generally applied

to newly constructed buildings.

Although the decision to provide Winnipeg with a steady source of

drinking water was further delayed.• In 1905, City Council announced

that a pumping station would be built on James Avenue, near the bank

of Red River on the eastern boundary of the downtown district it was

to serve. Under the direction of the City's engineering and fire protection

staff, Williams Jacks and Company of Glasgon acted as the general

contractors in construction of the station. Tenders were called for with

a predictable result: British and Scottish firms supplied most of the

machinery at a time when England was perhaps the most technologically

advanced nation in the world. The cost of this high pressure fire protection

system (which climbed to one million dollars), was paid for totally

by a pro-rated tax levied on the businesses served by the special watermains

and hydrants.'

Because of the tremendous size and weight of the pumping equipment,

the station was built around the machinery. Form and function

have achieved a unique integration. Yet the form is most effective in

its simple devotion to the function. The structure is utilitarian without

being stark or brutal. What makes the pumphouse so distinctive is its

straightforward design and clear expression of purpose, which has

created an enduring impression of power harnessed.

Of the three buildings that formed the original complex, only the

pumphouse survives. Formerly, there was also a gas producing plant

where coal was burned to produce fuel which was piped as gas into the

adjacent massive brick and steel storage plant. After the pumping station

was converted to electricity, these two ancillary structures became

redundant and were eventually demolished.

The pumping station is a single-storey brick structure with two gabled

bays. Spanning each bay are two large cranes that move along an !-beam

track of steel. The tracks rest on a steel frame, with each support continuing

below grade in concrete piers. As well as supporting the walls

and roof, this steel holds the cranes that initially lifted the massive

machinery components into place. The equipment is therefore "housebuilt,"

part machinery, part structure, all resting at grade or in the trough


If brief, water was pumped through a large pipe cribbed in the middle

of the river, sucked into the building and pushed through the high

pressure water mains controlled by separate hydrants. The power for

the pumps and plungers was originally produced in large engines that

ran on the coke gas produced in the building attached. What is remarkable

about these machines is their scale: the pistons are the diameter of a

human's arms, each flywheel 36 tons in weight and the fan belts 20 feet

long, controlled by a fascinating array of valves, guages and gears. Much

of the large equipment is made of polished steel, with the railings and

guages still glittering in solid brass. Beneath the equipment, in the murky

depths, are the huge pipes and graded run-offtroughs.

In order to give the operators maximum natural light, large windows

run the height of the wall along three sides, with sweeping arched windows

at both ends of each bay. Above these arched windows run brick

corbelling, one of the building's few concessions to vanity.

Because the machinery was so sophisticated, the English mechanics

who assembled it stayed on in Winnipeg to run the equipment for the

years to come. When the city was finally connected by aqueduct to Shoal

Lake in 1919, James Avenue Pumping Station was hooked into it. Never

again would fire fighters save a burning building only to ruin its contents

by pouring gallons of muddy river water onto the flames.



More than a few early municipal pumphouses have been preserved

in cities across Canada. A brief review of some better-known examples

Building interior (1983)

from Ontario will help illustrate the possibilities for interpreting the James

Avenue Pumping Station.

The Hamilton Pumping Station is operated as the Hamilton Museum

of Steam and Technology.• Modern pumping and filtration plants have

replaced the original water-pumping system, but the historic pump house

built in 1857 has been preserved by the careful maintenance volunteered

by City Waterworks employees over the years. The two original Gartshore

steam engines are in near-perfect condition. The new museum

stands proudly on the grounds of the modern facility, its preservation


Kingston's Pump House, built in 1849, has also been preserved as

a museum.• The main pump room, with the two original steam-driven

pumps, is restored to 1895. While the pump house no longer supplies

water to the city, the building and pump engines are intact and maintained

by the Frontenac Society of Model Engineers together with the

Kingston Department of Parks. Open to the public since 1973, the Pump

House Steam Museum contains a collection of historical engines and

steam artifacts, all in working order.

The main exhibits of these living museums are the pumping stations

themselves. Through mostly volunteer efforts, the massive pumping

equipment of each station has been maintained and is fully-functional.

This is a tribute to the century-old technologies that would still be in

use, except that the cities' demand for water gradually exceeded the pumping

stations' capacity, rendering the stations obsolete.


By contrast, Ottawa's Fleet Street Pumping Station has been fully

rehabilitated so it continues to operate, delivering about 50% of the water

required for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.'" It utilizes

the water power of nearby Chaudiere Falls, as it has since its construction

in 1874. The aging reciprocating pumps and water wheels of the

original system were replaced by 1949 with modern centrifugal pumps

and turbines, but the physical plant is housed in the original pumphouse,

which is restored to its 1900 appearance.

Like the Fleet Street operation, the James Avenue Pumping Station

in Winnipeg is still part of the city's water supply system. It pumps water

under high pressure to fire-protection hydrants in the central business

district. What sets it apart from other historical pump houses is that the

City of Winnipeg continues to operate the system with the original

generating and pumping equipment installed in 1906. 11

The City is considering closing the James Avenue Station and possibly

developing the site as a tourist attration. Like the other facilities discussed,

the focus of an interpretive program at the James Avenue Station would

be the pump house itself, impressive for the image of power created by

the brick and glass construction and magnificent in its display of

historical technology.

The primary objective for interpretation of James Avenue Pumping

Station is to increase public awareness and understanding of the historic

powerhouse." While the main theme for interpretation is the pump house

operation, secondary themes include the history of Winnipeg's water

supply, the social history of the area and industrial architecture."

The powerhouse itself offers the best resource to interpret the main

theme. The physical plant and the procedure for pumping water for firefighting

can be well illustrated inside the powerhouse. The view from

the foyer presents a panorama of the generating and pumping equipment

on the engine-house floor below, adding a dimension of immediacy

that is rarely realized in a museum setting. Even if the pump house operation

is closed down, the original pumps and engines will remain as builtin

exhibits that can be operated for display.

The secondary themes can be interpreted inside the powerhouse and

also illustrated outside the building. In the riverside setting of Stephen

Juba Park, there are physical resources that link to the Pumping Station:

-the Red River, which was the first source of water for the pumping

plant, and a deciding factor in its location;

-the plant intake for the Shoal Lake Aqueduct, which delivered water

to the plant since 1919;

-the rail tracks, which delivered the hoppers of coal to the gasproducer


-the exterior design of the powerhouse, which represents early industrial


-the Winnipeg Hydro Steam Plant, which is another example of early

industry and architecture in the city; and

-the site of Victoria Park (on the site of Winnipeg Hydro Steam Plant)

where strike leaders addressed assemblies during the 1919 General Strike.

The Historic Winnipeg Restoration Area, which centres on Old

Market Square west of Main Street, is also considered an interpretive

resource. The pumping plant serviced fire-protection hydrants in this

historic business district. Located within walking distance of the Pumping

Station, the Restoration Area contains examples of early commercial

and industrial architecture that may be compared with the Pumping

Station as part of an extended walking tour of the area.

An interpretation program for the Pumping Station would incorporate

indoor and outdoor interpretive panels, a publication and

3-dimensional exhibits, into a self-guided tour of the Station and its immediate

area. Visitors will have first-hand experience exploring the power

house and its operation. Through interpretation, the plant operation will

be opened up to the public as a scientific exhibit, a tribute to Winnipeg's

industrial heritage."

What makes Winnipeg's high-pressure pumping station unique in

Canada is its pristine condition and the integrity of both its structure

and machinery to the turn of the century. The massive engines, flywheels

and pumps of the original plant are always polished and primed, ready

to start up the water pumping operation within minutes of notice from

the Fire Hall. The Pumping Station is located within walking distance

of Portage and Main, at the edge of the commercial centre it was designed

to service, yet it remains undiscovered by most Winnipeggers and

tourists. The opportunity exists to present to the visiting public a historical

example of industrial architecture and to interpret the technological

significance of this heritage resource. 0

Building interior (1983)


1. Alan F.J. Artibise Winnipeg: A Social History of Urban Growth

1874-1914 MeGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal and London)

1975, p. 130.

2. Diane Payment "The Winnipeg Aqueduct" report for the Canadian

Engineering Heritage Record c.1976 p. 1. Used by permission

of the author.

3. Artibise, op. cit., p. 228.

4. "Report on Municipal Fire Prevention Appliances". Board of

Control Papers No. 447,25 October 1904 quoted in Artibise,

op. cit., p. 216.

5. As well, the hard water from the artesian wells rusted boilers

at a remarkable rate.

6. The Winnipeg Aqueduct was constructed between 1912 and 1919.

In the interim, six new artesian wells were equipped with pumps

and introduced to the domestic waterworks. By 1906, the year that

James Avenue Pumping Station was built, there were four artesian

wells supplying drinking water. City government and administration

was long divided over whether to continue and expand the

artesian well system or to make the huge investment in the aqueduct

system. "Winnipeg's Waterworks" The Canadian Engineer,

19 January 1911, p. 189.

7. Notice by City of Winnipeg, advertised in the three daily newspapers,

High Pressure Pumping System, special documents box,

dated c.18 June 1905. The Telegram.

8. Norman Ball and Ken Desson "The Pump-house Parthenon"

Canadian Heritage December 1983/Janum:y 1984 p. 10.

9. "The Pump House Steam Museum." City of Kingston. brochure, n.d.

10. "The Fleet Street Pumping Station." Regional Municipality of

Ottawa-Carleton (Ottawa) 1981, p. 10 brochure.

11. Sheila Grover "109 James Avenue: High Pressure Pumping Station."

Unpublished report prepared for City of Winnipeg Historical

Buildings Committee 28 May 1982 p. 2.

12. Sundog Heritage Planning "Interpretation Concept for James

Avenue Pumping Station." Prepared for Heritage Winnipeg 1983,

p. 3.

13. Ibid., p. 4.

14. Ibid., p. 6.


Plaque (1906)










In 1930, no one dreamed that the hard times of the drought and

depression were just beginning. When the horses began to scrape out

the basement of the new St. John the Baptist Church, there was great

excitement. There were many young people in the parish. This widelyreputed

new priest was dynamic; he was serious; but he was also fun.

He organized the usual parish functions, but he also organized teas and

plays and bazaars to raise money for building materials. He scheduled

the families into work shifts. He had the men haul stones and boulders

from their own fields as well as from the quarries which were ten miles


It took 22 years to complete St. John the Baptist Church. It was finally

consecrated in 1952, and later was renamed the Church of the Immaculate

Conception. It is a massive structure, in cruciform shape, with

a base measuring one hundred and forty by one hundred feet. There are

nine domes with the central cross reaching one hundred and fourteen

feet above the ground. The standing capacity of the church is one thousand

people but five thousand were present at the consecration which

was celebrated by Archbishop Ladyka and his Auxiliary Bishops.

Two years after the consecration of the church, Father Ruh began

what he called his last great effort to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In August, 1954 he inaugurated the first annual Pilgrimage to celebrate

the Assumption of the Virgin, and he began to erect a new structure:

the Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes with a Calvary, or Way of the Cross.

This lies to the north of the church itself.

The Calvary and Grotto were intended to replicate Lourdes; France.

Father Ruh visited Lourdes at least three times in his life and was deeply

inspired by the mountain grotto where the Virgin had appeared to

little Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. He wished to provide the Ukrainians

in Canada with a pilgrimage centre of their own. In this he succeeded.

Every summer large numbers of pilgrims attend the celebration

which last for three days in mid-August.

Pouring concrete for the grotto, Cook's Creek. Father Ruh at bottom left.

Breaking ground for the church at Cook's Creek. Father Ruh at centre

with spade and pipe!

Father Ruh's health began to fail in 1960. By that time he had been

a priest for 50 years and had served the Ukrainians in Canada for 48

of those years. Wherever his projects had taken him, he worked right

along with the labourers, taking great pleasure in the actual process of

building. He worked tirelessly to raise funds as well, enabling most of

the parishes to build their churches without heavy debt but rather through

a well-organized program of volunteers.

A great deal of fund-raising energy initiated the Grotto. Parishioners

who had known Father Ruh in different parts of the country donated

towards this last monument. A group in Toronto, for instance, drew from

the St. Catherine's and Grimsby areas where many former Ruh

parishioners had settled, to raise thousands of dollars. But the vision

was not to be fulfilled. Father Ruh died before the Grotto was completed

and he left no plans of the Grotto to guide the parish after him. The

Knights of Columbus of St. josaphat Council No. 1438 worked diligently

for several years to bring the Grotto to a sufficient conclusion, but

without the architect the original concept was not fully obtained.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception and The Grotto have now

been designated a historic site of the Province of Manitoba. Father Philip

Ruh, architect of some 30 structures across Canada, lies buried in the

cemetery just north of the Grotto. D

Cook's Creek Church under construction, 1940s.

Gloria Rornaniuk is currently researching The Life and Works of Father

Philip Ruh, O.M.I. with the aim of publishing his biography in 1988, the

year of the Christian Millennium in Ukraine. Gloria is a graduate of the

University of Winnipeg in Anthropology and Religious Studies.


.....,._ '



by Christopher Hosgood

The Trappist monastery of Norte-Dame des Prairies, Our Lady of

the Prairies, gutted by fire in 1983, was founded in 1892 by the Abbot

of Bellefontaine, France. For 86 years the monastery, located on the wooded

bank of the La Salle River near St. Norbert, provided the Trappists

with the solitude they required to pursue a life of prayer, contemplation,

study and humble manual labour. During this time the monks

became popular figures in St. Norbert, and the monastery became an

important feature of the village's economic life. Unfortunately, urban

encroachment increasingly threatened the tranquility of the monastery,

and by 1978 the monks had relunctantly moved to new quarters near

Holland, in southern Manitoba.

On 7 November 1983, flames engulfed the empty church and dormitory

wing of the monastery. The dramatic ruins were subsequently

stabilized and preserved under a joint project of the Canada-Manitoba

Agreement for Recreation and Conservation on the Red River (ARC),

City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba. This, the site of the first

monastery in Western Canada, will officially be opened as a provincial

heritage park in the summer of 1986.

The Trappists are a branch of the Cistercian order founded in 1098

by three reformist Benedictine monks. Retreating into the Forest of

Citeaux, in northern France, there reformers hoped to return to the true

observance of the rule of St. Benedict-charity, obedience and humility.

Eventually, hundreds of Cistercian monasteries were established

throughout Europe. Two distinct types of Cistercians emerged: those

of the Common Observance and those of the Strict Observance.

The French Revolution of 1789 brought about the confiscation of

monastic properties and the dispersion of monks and nuns from their

institutions. When peace returned to France, a Cistercian monastery near

the village of La Trappe, in Normandy, was the first to be re-established.

The monks, Cistercians of the Strict Observance, came to be known as


During the late nineteenth century, France again experienced serious

political unrest, and many religious communities threatened with explusion

began to seek refuge abroad. Dom Jean-Marie Chouteau, Abbot

of Bellefontaine, a Trappist monastery in the doicese of Angers, turned

to Canada. He accepted an offer of land near Oka in the district of Two

Mountains, in Quebec, where the monaster of Notre-Dame du Lac was

established in 1881.

Nine years later, while visiting the Ika monastery, Dom Chouteau

met with two priminent Manitoba clerics, Archbishop Tache of St.

Boniface and Father Ritchot, parish priest of St. Norbert, to discuss

establishing a Trappist monastery in the west. The French monastery,

Bellefontaine, lacked the resources to initiate this project, although Dom

Chouteau promised to co-operate as best he could. Consequently, the

initiative for the foundation of Notre-Dame des Prairies came chiefly

from Tache and Ritchot.

For almost thirty years, Ritchot has hoped that a group of Mains

Blancs [White Monks) one day would settle in his parish. Ritchot believed

that a monstery would act as a model farm, educating and encouraging

local farmers, thereby benefitting the local community. A quiet, secluded

piece of land along the La Salle River had already been set aside for

that purpose. Eventually, the Trappists were offered 486 hectares (1,200

acres) of farmland in the Parish of St. Norbert, to which Father Ritchot

added 121 hectares (300 acres) from his personal estate. Archbishop

Tache donated $2,000 and Father Richot added another $1,000 to offset

the costs of establishing Notre-Dames des Prairies.

The first monastery buildings were situated on a west-bank penin­

.sula of the La Salle River, near its junction with the Red. In 1899 Tache's

successor, Archbishop Langevin, donated the land on the east side of

the river and portions of neighbouring lots were subsequently purchased

as the scale of the Trappists' agricultural activities increased.

Brother Antoine, one of the founders of Notre-Dame du Lac, arrived

in St. Norbert in the spring of 1892 to launch the new monastery.

The land was cleared and prepared for cultivation, farm animals, supplies

and implements were purchased, and shelters were built. At the

request of the Abbot of Bellefontaine, Archbishop Tache supervised

monastery operations and finances.

The first monastery building-a three-storey wooden structure with

a small porch and a bell tower sitting on the roof ridge-was constructed

during the summer of 1892. The building featured an eight by five metre

(27 by 16 foot), sparsely furnished chapel, enhanced by religious ornaments

and statues presented by French benefactors. A donation the

following year permitted construction, next to the monastery, of an additional

buildings which served as living quarters for the hired workers.

Faithful to the rule of poverty, the Trappist monks lived on what

they could grow on their land. Consequently, agriculture and animal

husbandry were of prime importance at Notre-Dame des Prairies.

Potatoes and grain were sown and reaped during the summer of 1892,

and by December the first stable was built. Water was hauled from the

river until a well could be sunk. After the first harvest a threshing machine

was purchased, and a modern dairy and butter factory were set up during

the next few years.

The Trappists gradually diversified their agricultural operations.

Although they were vegetarians, they raised beef cattle, pigs and poultry

along with horses and a dairy herd. They marketed meat and cheese in

order to purchase those few necessities which they could not provide

for themselves. After 1906, the Trappists derived further income from

sales of the honey produced by their new apiary.

Despite the Trappists' medieval garb and 900 year-old traditions, only

the most up-to-date equipment was used for their agricultural activities.

To ensure the monastery's self-sufficiency several shops were built including

a bakery, a shoemaker's shop, a forge and an outdoor sawmill.

Stables, granaries, equipment sheds, greenhouses, and a chicken coop

were also erected.

By 1900, this community of about thirty monks had outgrown its

original quarters, and plans were sent from France for a new church

and monastic wing. Work on the church began in the summer of 1903,

but due to a lack of funds, construction was not completed for several


Built of brick and Manitoba stone, the new Romanesque Revival

church had the round-headed windows and rounded cross-vaulted roof

typical of the style. The building was 43 metres (140 feet) long, 18 metres



(60 feet] wide across the transept and 8 metres (25 feet) wide across the

nave. The silver-domed bell tower was surmounted by a cross. Many

of the religious ornaments and statues were gifts from France, while most

of the simple interior furnishings were crafted by the monks in their

workshops. Near the front of the church were the stalls reserved for the

Fathers and, in the second part, those of the lay Brothers. A rood screen

separated the two sections of the nave, and above the large rear entrance

was a spacious gallery for visitors. Seven small chapels used for private

masses were located in an ambulatory behind the apsidal wall.

Construction of the monastic wing to house monks, novices and

visitors, and to provide a kitchen, refectory and pantry, began in 1905.

This three-storey structure matched the church in colour, materials and

brick detailing. Once the new wing was completed, the old wooden

monastery became a guest house and served that purpose until early

in 1912 when it was destroyed by fire. Faithful to the monastic tradition

of hopsitality, the Trappists quietly replaced the gutted building with

a new guest house.

In 1914 a house originally owned by the Sisters of Mercy was purchased

and moved to the monastery to serve as a gatehouse. It was also

destroyed by fire and replaced by the present structure in 1946. A narrow

footpath bridge was constructed near the gatehouse, about 7.6 metres

(25 feet] above the La Salle River. The bridge provided access to the

railroad and to the village of St. Norbert and, until it was swept away

by the floods, it proved particularly useful when the dirt roads became

muddy and impassable.

Manitoba's Trappists have maintained many of the centuries-old

traditions of monastic life which they share with Cistercian brethren

the world over, and indeed, with monks of other religious professions

as well. The Trappist way of life features work and prayer, unencumbered

by the cares and comforts of the non-monastic world; above all, their

life is devoted to finding God and achieving salvation. The labour of the

monks both renders their community self-sufficient and promotes a

healthy life-style which fortifies them against spiritual irresoluteness.

Prayer, however, provides the community's focus; through prayer Trappists

seek the salvation of all souls-both within and beyond monastery


The daily life of the Cistercian pioneers in St. Nor bert was rooted

in these monastic traditions. Only in recent years has the strict discipline

of earlier times been slightly relaxed. Until well into the twentieth century,

Trappists observed their order's reknowned rule of silence, and

communicated with each other only through the use of rudimentary sign

language. During the St. Norbert monastery's earliest years, women were

barred from the grounds of Notre-Dame des Prairies. Only following the

consecration ceremonies of 1947 were women allowed in when the rule

of papal enclosure was lifted for nine days. More recently, women were

permitted to enter the monastery's church, and the gatehouse, where

they could view a photographic exhibit of Notre-Dame's buildings and

farming operations.

The Trappist Fathers (choir monks] were distinguished from the lay

Brothers by the colour of their robes: the former wore white and the

latter brown; everyone wore black cowls. The monks shared frugal meals

and ate no meat, fish, or poultry. They rose early each day, which began

with prayer, and before nightfall congregated seven times for the

canonical hours; their most august daily rite was the Holy Sacrifice of

the Mass. The remainder of the day included four of five hours of spiritual

reading or study, and the fulfilment of chores and farm labour.

During the twentieth century Notre-Dame des Prairies usually housed

somewhere between 30 and 45 monks. Many of them were skilled

gardeners, carpenters, iron workers and decorative artists. These skills

allowed the monastery to remain virtually self-sufficient. Trappists maintained

and repaired their buildings and equipment, and preserved the

simple beauty of the church, monastery and grounds.

Following the foundation of Notre-Dame des Prairies, few could have

suspected that the peace of the secluded monastery would be interrupted

by the encroachment of the City of Winnipeg. Yet, by the 1960s, city

life was beginning to impinge upon their contemplative ways. After long

and sometimes painful discussion and prayer, the monks decided that

they would have to relocate to some other part of the diocese. In order

to remain faithful to their traditions, the Trappists of Notre-Dame des

Prairies selected a site more suitable to their life of solitude.

The new monastery was set up between Holland and Bruselles,

Manitoba, 145 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg. The move to the new

site was staggered over the years 1975-1978. On the new 356 hectare

(880 acre] farm, about 20 Trappists have continued their dairy, beef and

grain operations on a slightly smaller scale. Meanwhile the people of

St. Norbert bade a sad farewell to the Trappists at a special celebration

held on 18 September 1977. Subsequently the barns and farm buildings

were demolished leaving only the church, dormitory wing and guest


The piety, hospitality and dedication of the monks had inspired their

neighbours for nearly a century and it was widely held that their departure

would leave a void in the community. Significantly, as a provincial

heritage site, the monastery's grounds continue to act as a haven, although

today's beneficiaries are city dwellers rather than Trappist monks. 0

Books - Livres


For any person with an abiding and passionate interest in architectural

bibliography, the position of book review editor with an architectural

journal is a dream come true. Work on this issue, the first I hope

in a good number, has not blunted my initial excitement. This enthusiasm

for architectural publications, in particular those of Canada, is what I

hope to communicate each quarter as this section looks at books, primarily

Canadian, mostly architectural, recent publications and classic works.

This is a good opportunity to thank the last Review Editor, Michele

Laing for her contribution. Regrettably Michele was obliged to resign

owing to increased responsibilities at the Architecture Library of the

University of Manitoba. Appreciation is also owed to Don Lovell, the

Bulletin Editor. Even with the many editorial duties and the concerns

of a new professional architectural practice, Don devoted time to writing

reviews and keeping this section alive.

In my view an important mandate of the SSAC Bulletin is to encourage

information transfer. While the Bulletin has had notable success

with the publication of papers, the Book Review section has alternately

flourished and languished.

With the support of the Editor and the assistance of the reviewers,

I intend to build on the solid foundations poured by earlier book review

editors. More by luck than planning, this Bulletin illustrates several of

the directions this section will follow.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Canadian architectural study

is not learning about pertinent local publications. This area is expanding

in terms of both quantity and quality, and while it may not always

be possible to review every item, they can at least be referenced and sourced.

Stone Houses, a regional, populist book on a topic of growing interest,

is reviewed in this issue.

Books of national scope will of course still take precedence and every

effort will be made to provide timely reviews. This Bulletin also reviews

Reviving Main Street - Heritage Canada's guide to its innovative rehabilitation

program for town cores. While this program has many proponents

and few opponents, private concerns about the rationale and process

can be heard. The Bulletin is pleased to present both sides in a special

double feature with reviews by Stuart Lazear and Gregory Utas.

Past reviews have had a parochial tendency to ignore works outside

our national borders. While this follows the Society's objective, its

membership loses by perhaps not being aware of important architectural

scholarship. While A History of Architecture by Spiro Kostof has

only three very incidental references to Canada, Stanley Laten's review

provides ample reason for its inclusion in this section.

In the future, whenever possible, this section will reinforce the special

topic of the Bulletin. Unfortunately, for this issue on Manitoba, there

was not sufficient time to solicit book reviews. However in an effort to

remedy this deficiency, with much assistance from Sheila Grover and

John Lehr, a sho.rt narrative survey of Manitoba architectural bibliography

has been prepared. Again it is hoped that this article will be the first in a

series of bibliographic notes on special topics. (See Part 2, June Issue.)

Without your support this section may again languish. Let me know

of local material including free publications and pamphlets. Offer to write

reviews by dropping me note indicating your specific field of interest.

And most importantly let me know when we have overlooked or slighted

any publication. I look forward to hearing from you. D

Norman Allan

Book Review Editor

SSAC Bulletin

10 Findlay Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario

K1S 2T9

REVIVING MAIN STREET edited by Deryck Holdsworth. Toronto:

Heritage Canada FoundationiUniversity of Toronto Press, 1985. 246 pp.,

many photographs, $12.95 paper/$25.00 cloth.

REVIVING MAIN STREET attempts to describe and synthesize the experience

of the Heritage Canada Foundation in the area of Main Street

Revitalization over the past five years. The descriptive component is tackled

by former Main Street co-ordinators who worked within selected communities

across Canada for three year periods commencing in 1981. The

synthesis/overview is provided by Deryck Holdsworth, Harold Kalman,

John Stewart and Jacques Dalibard.

Whether the specific approach be in promotion, marketing·, rehabilitation,

infill design, store front design, signage, organization of the business

community, grantsmanship or any of the other components of Main

Street revitalization described in this book, there is a common theme

that the mechanisms for assisting with the rejuvination of a downtown

community rest with the human, cultural and economic resources of

that community. Dalibard summarizes this theme at the end of the book,

"The answers to Main Street's problems are on the doorstep."

REVIVING MAIN STREET includes a fine mix of technical information

and approaches without being heavy handed. Jim Mountain's

"Promoting and Marketing Downtown" provides a detailed strategy for

any community wishing to organize successful promotions. "Taking Care

of Business" by Chris Pelham and Dan Macintosh usefully describes the

economic factors such as market determination and retail recruitment

which can be understood even by non-MBAs. The chapter on "Sympathetic

New Design" (Peter Hyndman and Gordon Fulton) illustrates

successful and unsuccessful infill construction. "Catching the Customer's

Eye" which covers signage, echos the philosophy of Main Street-"As

with other aspects of Main Street revitalization, gradual change

demonstrating by effective example rather than by imposition of a

preconceived plan, creates a snowball effect whereby the broader potential

of a district can gradually be realized."

"Store-Fronts for Downtown" by Hans Honegger and Bob Inwood

deals with approaches to store-front design as well as technical issues.

The illustrations, particularly the "before" and "after" series, are very

effective and should be useful for encouraging revitalization. John Edwards

in "Organizing for Change" presents the role of the Main Street

co-ordinator in animating change through public and private sector

organizations and community groups. This chapter ends with the ten

essential ingredients for a successful downtown, which are in fact, the

same elements which make a shopping mall succeed. Kalman also

discusses the shopping mall in "Crisis on Main Street." The advantages

of the shopping mall are described together with other issues (national

chains, banks, etc.) facing downtown revitalization. Kalman's "Canada's

Main Street" presents the evolution of public and commercial architecture

in small town Canada.

In reading Reviving Main Street one can appreciate that the experiences

and lessons of Main Street have been shared by former coordinators.

Each author uses a variety of examples borrowed from their

collegues across the country, to illustrate their topics. This shared experience

is to me the greatest value of the book. Reviving Main Street

is timely but not timeless. As the Main Street approach matures, it will

be a useful and essential catalyst for the next generation of books and

manuals. D

by Stuart Lazear

Stuart Lazear currently the SSAC representative from Saskatchewan, is

a former Main Street Program co-ordinator for Moose Jaw.

REVIVING MAIN STREET consists of ten essays by Heritage Canada

staff and others who are or were associated with the foundation's pilot

Main Street program. The book is divided into three parts: Part One is

a history and characterization of the Canadian Main Street; Part Two

is a survey of Main Street programs from Norwich, Ontario to the present,

with a brisk but extensive account of current Canadian programs;

and Part Three concerns the "how-to" of revitalization, illustrated by

brief references to the pilot projects. In effect, Part One and Part Two

are a search for a theory of Main Street, and Part Three outlines practices

more or less derived from the theory.

Heritage Canada's theory blames the decline of Main Street on shopping

centres. It follows, according to the theory, that Main Street must

behave as a shopping centre behaves. Mainly, this means that merchants

must work collectively to define their marketing strategy, and, as a consequence

of the marketing strategy, define an appropriate "look" for their

street. Heritage concerns enter the theory at this remove, as one possible

look. Heritage Canada, of course, prefers a heritage look, but offers

no theoretical reason for doing so.

Part Three is directed mainly to future Main Street co-ordinators.

It is over-elaborate as a job description, but falls short as a how-to manual.

It contains hints about how to organize and animate a town, and how

to work its political system in aid of revitalizing Main Street. It discusses

marketing, from "tuning the mix" to devices such as joint promotions

and window dressing. It contains a light-weight primer on rehabilitation.

The chapter, "Sympathetic New Design" contains a list of seven

approaches to infill which is a worthwhile contribution to this subject,

and, by extension, to the discussion of contextualism which has occupied

architects of late.

Heritage Canada is offering here a theory or model of economic

revitalization for Main Street. One of the most troubling aspects of the

book is that Heritage Canada is presenting this theory of economic


evitalization as if it were a theory of conservation. A theory of economic

revitalization answers the question, "How does one improve the economy

of ... " A theory of conservation answers the question, "Which buildings

should one save, and why." By confining itself io its shopping centre

model, Heritage Canada even obscures its underlying assertion that

heritage buildings are an exploitable resource, an assertion that is troubling

it itself, and only partly true. Heritage Canada seems prepared to

pin heritage conservation to the vagaries of the bottom line. The indifferent

glass boxes of popular myth are a true expression of the bottom

line as a determinant of form. Surely one of the chief purposes of the

heritage movement is to preserve the view that builders and owners have

social responsibilities separate from the mean requirements of profit.

Even as a theory of economic revitalization, the shopping centre

model is not entirely adequate. Shopping centres are acknowledged to

be "machines for selling"; an organic metaphor would better represent

Main Street. The marketing canon itself abounds with business successes

that resulted from creative entrepreneurs moving in a direction markedly

different from the general trend. Such entrepreneurs succeeded by increasing

the choice available in the marketplace, not by creating more

of the same. Main Street is ineradicably different from a shopping centre.

A main Street that glories in its difference, and makes creative use

of it, will have a firmly rooted success, independent of the forces which

support shopping centres.

The heritage movement has the beginnings of a sophisticated theory

of conservation. We no longer save buildings solely because of their

historical associations. By our consideration of context or social heritage

we have moved some way towards a theory that accommodates social,

economic and cultural factors. Ecology and systems theory have devices

which allow them to deal with complex, non-linear relationships. I believe

that the heritage movement, too, must learn how to deal with non-linear

relationships in its theory of conservation. With a sound theory of conservation,

heritage could take its place with urban design and other

disciplines in the management of the built environment. But to do so

it must work for its strengths, which have to do with the cultural values

of buildings, and the dynamics of collective memory in the built environment.

It is in a well-managed built environment, rich or poor, that heritage

buildings are safest. They are safe because, while they have an economic

function, they are understood to have other important functions as well.

Heritage Canada's theory of economic revitalization does seem to

work. One cannot be entirely certain, since Heritage Canada has chosen

to report neither its measures of success, nor its data. Independent observation

would affirm that in the Main Streets to which Heritage Canada

has devoted its attention a number of buildings have been rehabilitated.

I suspect that Heritage Canada operates on an unstated theory of conservation

whilst professing its theory of economic revitalization. Its

labours have resulted in some Main Streets more handsome than they

were before. On this level the Foundation can be congratulated.

Heritage Canada is now in the position of promoting a single analysis

and a single solution to the Main Street problem. The remuddled facades

we now deplore in Main Street were created according to an equally

simplistic prescription. Furthermore, this prescription, too, was effective.

It met the pragmatic test so well that it was applied regularly for

more than thirty years. In the absence of a theory of conservation, today's

newly renovated facades are just as much a faddish applique as

the aluminum or Vitralite they replace.

By all means buy Reviving Main Street to give to any philistines who

cross your path. It speaks their language. The arguments it contains may

well still come as a surprise to some local politicians and decision makers.

In such cases it will insinuate the idea that older buildings are a positive,

exploitable resource. While this is not an entirely happy attitude, it is

better than the belief that old buildings are a drag on a community. The

shortcomings of the book should provoke those to whom its content is

old hat into working on a better theory of conservation. Let us hope that

one soon emerges. D

by Gregory P. Utas

Gregory Utas is an architectural historian and restoration architect with

Public Works Canada. In this capacity he has surveyed federal buildings

in many towns across Canada and has cultivated an appreciation for small

scale streetscapes. A longtime SSAC member, Mr. Utas is a frequent contributer

to the Cityscape column of the Ottawa Citizen.

Books- Livres- Con't. in Part II- June Issue.


The following SSAC Members have moved without forwarding their

new addresses. Anyone with information as to their new local is requested

to contact the SSAC Membership Secretary.

Nancy Burgoyne

Don Schuster

Edward M. Ledohowski

Inci Kislaeioglu

News From Across Canada


Andrew Cobb: The Vision of Dalhousie is an exhibit at the Dalhousie

Art Gallery, Dalhousie University, until 6 April 1986. Andrew Cobb

designed five well known campus buidings between 1913 and 1924. The

architect's drawings, elevations and plans of the library, faculty club,

chemistry bulding, clinical research centre and pharmacy building are

the basis of the display.


The School of Architecture at Waterloo is arranging eight (8) guest

lecturers for the 1986 winter term. Visitors and topics will include:

Adele Freedman on Peter Dickinson

Graham Owen on new Architecture in South Africa

Grady Clay on Ephemeral Places

Michael Wilford on Stirling & Wilfrod's current work

Eric Fiss and Nan Legate on Canadian Folk Architecture

Robert Harbison on Space and Imagination

Michael Wilford, London, England, has been appointed as the "Arriscraft

Visiting Lecturer in Building Materials and Construction" for

the 1986 winter term, and will give his opening lecture on Monday,

March 3rd. Other dates not yet available.

Further Information: Ena Wrighton (519) 885-0394.



PHOTO EXHIBIT. The people, places and events that made news during

the turbulent decade of the 1930s are the focus of more than 100

Globe and Mail photographs on display February 8 - May 4, 1986 at The

Market Gallery of the City of Toronto Archives.

Chosen for their historical interest and impact, these images represent

the work of pioneer photojournalists, most notably John Boyd (1898

- 1971), the Globe's first staff photographer. Significant political and social

events documented in "The '30s: A Photo Legacy from the Globe and

Mail," include the City's 1934 Centennial, demonstrations by the

unemployed at Queen's Park, Labour Day and May Day parades, construction

of landmark buildings, the annual Canadian National Exhibition,

the 1934 visit of film star Mary Pickford, the 1939 royal visit, and

home-grant activities at the out break of the Second World War.

"In addition to providing insights into the interests and concerns

of Torontonians during a benchmark decade in the City's development,

this exhibition proves how valuable newspaper photo collections can

be as unique historical resources for researchers and the public," says

Karen Teeple of the City of Toronto Archives, curator of the show. "This

exhibition only begins to tap the rich body of historically-significant images

donated to the City by the Globe and Mail."


May 10- July 6

The Market Gallery, Toronto, is staging a multi-media exhibition to

coincide with the 10th anniversary of the CN Tower in June, 1986. This

landmark show will tell how the world's tallest free-standing structure

captured the imagination of residents and visitors alike from the day

it was announced to its breathtaking "topping off' using a Sikorsky


D. W. Lovell, MAIBC, MRAIC


2875 Haliday Crescent,

Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 3N1


Nonnan Allan



10 Findlay Avenue,

Ottawa, Ont. K1S 2T9

Editorial Board I Membership Secretary


P.O. Box 2302

Station D,

Ottawa, Ont. K1P 5W5

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