a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Jul, 2013

Église Saint-François-d’Assise

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

I think one of the prettiest views on this side of Ottawa is the church of St. Francis.

She is a grand old lady:

St.Francis church, Ottawa

I happened to be on a way to a lunch meeting when the bells started to ring, filling the air with sound. Click to hear what it sounded like at noon yesterday. For added affect, look at the photo while listening to the sound. :)

There’s a bit of history about this place on the Hintonburg Community Association website.

“The first church of this parish, founded and directed by the Capuchin Fathers, dates back to 1890 and was later converted into a college. The present church was built in 1914-1915 according to plans drawn by architect Charles Brodeur, from Hull, Quebec. The outside facade holds statues of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the parish, and of St Anthony. The twin bell towers, of different heights, contain five bells cast in 1924 in France by Georges Pacard Sons, from Annecy-le-Vieux. The imposing stairs leading to the entrance with two large landings make this church an important monument in Hintonburg and in Ottawa.

Inside, there are no columns. The vault and the window frames of the chancel are in the basket-handle style while the window frames of all the other windows and the windows themselves are in the Roman style. The two transept galleries and the organ gallery, in the back, add a touch of Gothic style to the church. The church is also renowned for the many statues it contains, some of them coming from other churches: St Anthony (1894), Sacred Heart (1896), Our Lady of Piety (1897) and St Pascal Baylon (1899). The Way of the Cross and the pews date back to the construction of the church. The organ too is historic and has been modified several times and restored in 1987. The palette of colors found on the display pipes was used as the basis for the repainting of the church in 1985.

In the 1970s the fate of this church was uncertain but, thanks to uniting with other parishes and to government subsidies, the church was preserved and restored in 1985. The church continues to dominate the skyline of Hintonburg and its bells continue to call parishioners to worship. École Saint-François is located directly behind the church and several religious orders are located nearby on Fairmont Avenue.”

The simple act of just walking by this place is a pleasure. Can you imagine what may have ended up on this site if people didn’t have the foresight to preserve it?

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3 Responses to "Église Saint-François-d’Assise"

1 | St.-François

July 10th, 2013 at 2:21 pm


Still beautiful after all these years. Thanks for the shout-out !

2 | lacoop

July 14th, 2013 at 9:30 pm


I’m sure the condo people would love that site. lol

3 | Biking to Église Saint-François d’Assise in Hintonburg | OttawaVeloOutaouais

November 21st, 2013 at 10:10 pm


[…] blogger posted more info on the church, including this great SoundCloud recording of the church bells ringing at […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (14) and Sarah (12). I am the Editor of the Kitchissippi Times as well as Capital Parent Newspaper. I'm also a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999 (which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which). The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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