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Gothic Revival (1830-1900)

Neo Gothic

Gothic Revival architecture in Canada is an historically influential style, with many prominent examples. The Gothic Revival was imported to Canada from Britain and the United States in the early 19th century, and rose to become the most popular style for major projects throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Gothic Revival period lasted longer and was more thoroughly embraced in Canada than in either Britain or the United States, only falling out of style in the 1930s. The late 19th and early 20th centuries was also the period when many major Canadian institutions were founded. Throughout Canada many of the most prominent religious, civic, and scholastic institutions are housed in Gothic Revival style buildings. In the 1960s and 1970s several scholars, most notably Alan Gowans, embraced Canadian Gothic Revival architecture as one of the nation's signature styles and as an integral part of Canadian nationalism


Wikipedia contributors, "Gothic Revival architecture in Canada," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed June 30, 2021).


“There are a number of stylistic streams of Gothic Revival architecture, though styles are often mixed. Common features between the different styles include: pointed arch windows, rib vaulted ceilings, buttresses, steeply pitched roofs and an overall emphasis on height.”


The Ontario Heritage Trust. “Architectural Style.” Ontario Heritage Trust, 2017,



Neo-Gothic architecture as seen in Vaughan’s Christ Church Anglican (1921) differs from the earlier Gothic Revival in that the Gothic style had become so much a part of Canadian identity by the 1920s that it came to be used for larger, more institutional buildings.  Besides the larger size, Neo-Gothic façades also tend to be more symmetrical than their predecessors.

For more information:

Blumenson, John. Ontario Architecture: A Guide to Styles and Building 1784 to the Present. Markham, Ont.: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1990.

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