Address: 303 High Street West
Also known as: Chinese United Church
The Chinese United Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located on two lots in the City of Moose Jaw. Situated on the corner of High Street and Third Avenue North West, the property features a 1½-storey, wood-frame, stucco-clad church built in 1883.
The heritage value of the Chinese United Church lies in its significance as the oldest recorded building in the community of Moose Jaw. Built in the summer of 1883, the church was constructed during the initial boom that followed the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Moose Jaw in 1882. The architecture of the church has a Gothic vernacular influence, evident through features such as the lancet windows, steeply pitched gable roof, tower, and spire.
The Chinese United Church building’s heritage value also rests in its association with various Moose Jaw religious congregations. Built on the outskirts of the community by local Presbyterians, the building was moved in 1884. The building was moved three more times with the last move occurring in 1903 when the Free Methodists purchased it and moved it to its present site.
The heritage value of the Chinese United Church also lies in its association with the Chinese community of Moose Jaw. A pastor from the nearby Zion Methodist Church began working with the Chinese community and by 1912 a mission was established with the support of members of the Chinese community, prominent citizens and other churches. Since 1954, the church building served both spiritual and social functions for members of the Chinese community. The church is a symbol of the achievements and struggles of the Chinese in Moose Jaw and their relations with the broader community.
Source: City of Moose Jaw Bylaw No. 4215, 1984.
The heritage value of the Chinese United Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
- those features which reflect the age and gothic vernacular style of the building such as the lancet windows, steeply pitched gable roof, asymmetrically placed tower and pyramid shaped spire with finial, interior balcony;
- those features that speak to its association with the Chinese community including hymn boards, signage on the front exterior and the building’s location on its current site;
- those features that speak to building’s use as a place for gathering, such as the open space of the interior of the building.
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