Welcome to the Canadian Architecture blog!

Welcome to the first Canadian Architecture blog brought to you by the Malcolmites! We hope this blog will encourage those interested in Canadian architecture to talk (or more specifically, type) about architecture in Canada.

Featured Building

Featured Building
William Eckhardt House, Unionville, Ontario (1852)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Building of the Week: Holy Trinity, Quebec City

Our building of the week is the earliest Anglican cathedral in all of Canada.  Completed in 1804, this church is a beacon of Englishness in a French town, with its use of the quintessentially-English model of James Gibbs' St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London of 1726.  Churches based on this model can be found all over the colonies and we have documented many ourselves.

The interior is, as might be expected from the exterior, faithful to the interior of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, with its balconies, classicizing plaster work and Palladian eastern window.
Above: interior looking east
While the exterior appears lavish in its use of ashlar masonry (large, smooth, square-cut stones), upon closer inspection it is revealed that the surface is really imitation ashlar:
Above: detail of "ashlar masonry" on west facade
Real stone, however, was used in some areas for emphasis, notably for the giant Ionic order pilasters and the enclosing arches on the west facade.
Above: the variety of materials used on the west facade
This is a common money-saving technique for buildings of all kinds at the time: spend money on the prominent features and use less expensive materials for other areas, making the building look like it cost more to make than it really did.

If you find yourself in Quebec City, be sure to check out this building - it's only a stone's throw from the Chateau Frontenac and is definitely worth your time.

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