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Holy Trinity Church - A History
Going to church by Rowboat
by Dorothy Helferty - Mainstreeter May 1986
When some families went to church in Ottawa East in 1877 they had to row, or be rowed across the canal and, back again when the service was over. The little red brick building at Echo Dr. and Main Street, once known as Holy Trinity Anglican -Church of Archvi11e (now Ottawa East) is still standing and now the property of the Portuguese Community Centre of Ottawa Car1eton.Still a well-known landmark, the site of the church was obtained from the late Archiba1d Stewart, after whom the village of Archvi11e was named. The church was opened for Divine Services the first Sunday in September 1877.Costs of the church were as follows: land $875.00; building $2,313.88; fence and porch $108.21, basement $200.43, and furniture $465.99.
Years after he served at Holy Trinity, the late Robert Jefferson, Reverend and former Anglican Bishop of Ottawa, co-authored a pamphlet called, "Faith of our Fathers - the Story of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa". The pamphlet reads in part: "few of the congregations in the Diocese of Ottawa have a rowboat as part of their church property, but when Holy Trinity Church on Canal Road in the village of Archvil1e was built in 1877, a boat was provided to ferry parishioners across the Rideau Canal, there being no nearby bridge.
Salary $200 a Year
Holy Trinity was originally a mission attached to St. John's Church (now
Church of St. John the Evange11st, Elgin and Somerset Streets, Ottawa,
then located on McKenzie Avenue, opposite Majors Hill Park.) Later it
was attached to St. Barnabas Church, becom-ing an independent parish
Average collections in 1880 varied from $7.00 to $8.00 per Sunday. Records indicate formation of a Ladies' Guild 1n 1884; a Woman1s Auxiliary in 1894, and a Sewing Society formed in 1902 to "help reduce the church debt". This society it is recalled, "served faithfully for many years ".
Mr. T.E. Gunderson of 30 Eleanor Drive, Nepean, in an article written for the centennial of the Church of the Ascension, wrote: "I attended Sunday School each Sunday afternoon from the time 1 was ten at Holy Trin-ity; that was a long time ago." He is now 88 years of age and has many memories of his life in Ottawa East.
Eyes Closed for Sermons
Today he explains that "this oddity was probably caused by smoke
from wood fires in the church stove. The wood was often times green, and
I know my eyes used to get sore and red. Perhaps it
He notes that "there was no furnace in the basement, but a long,
pot-bellied stove inside the front door prov-ided the heat. A straight,
black smoke pipe went half-way up, then across and a-cross again near
the chancel all pipes being fastened securely with wire. The wood was
in four and six
Bishop Jefferson was ap-pointed rector in 1916, and under his leadership
the parish grew so remarkably that a new and larger church was needed.
The new site on Echo Drive was pur-chased and the church became the Church
of the Ascension. The first sod was turned for the new church
The Portuguese Community Association purchased Holy Trinity in 1977 whereupon
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