We had a pretty exciting weekend in terms of photography, and one of the treasures we encountered was an old church that is over 116 years old now.  St. Andrews United Church is located in the Old City Quarter of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.  Let’s dive into some pictures, shall we?

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

From what research we can find online, this church appears to have been started as a Presbyterian church and in the early 1900’s was converted to a United Church.  With its grandiose architecture and wonderful details, it is a landmark in the city and one of it’s most prized treasures.

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

The curators are currently in process of raising $750,000 to perform some much-needed remedial work on the facility, both inside and out.  It apparently is not in the best of shape and requires this urgent work to allow it to maintain its current active status.

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

The wonderful tones and colors of the church really create a strong feeling of nostalgia.  Also known for its incredible acoustics, this church has hosted many concerts.  Allison Crowe is currently scheduled to play here in December, 2011.

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

As the light dances across the doorway, adding so much warmth to the scene, we were captivated by the blue stained glass piece that hangs over the entrance-way.  Book-ended  by wonderful brickwork, this striking scene was something that caught our attention from down the street.

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

In this shot we get a close-up and detailed look at the entrance-way itself.  Again, the blue stained glass window above the door is truly amazing.  We also note that the green trim that comes down to meet the brickwork also serves as a drain-spout.   Functional, as well as architecturally appealing.

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

St. Andrews United Church - Nanaimo BC Canada

As we come around the back, we get a strong sense of the scale of the building.  It is truly huge.  Years of west coast rain have weathered the siding which just serves to add details and textures.  I also love the little overhang that sits above the doorway, and the shadow it produced.

The Old City Quarter district in Nanaimo is rich in history and we do have several more shots coming.  We also are planning on going back soon to do an intensive architectural study of the area as it is just full of wonderful old and interesting buildings to enjoy.

Many thanks for taking the time to visit us today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.




  1. avatar A.Barlow says:

    I love that old style. Really cool looking. Like castles.

  2. avatar chris maskell says:

    Great post my friend. Interesting to see the difference and similarity between churches across the pond. Most of our churches tend to be Norman influenced and that is reflected in the Beauty you have captured. However there are also significant differences in materials.

  3. Another great post. I loooovvvve the 4th shot of the door.

  4. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Outstanding post Toad. You have captured the essence of this old church. I really love the image of the door. Great textures and color. Well done, my friend.

  5. Beautiful shots, Toad! That shot of the door really is amazing; the way the shadows play and the contrast between the warm golden door and the cool green trim are truly just lovely. As always, the story is a wonderful part of this post. Great work!

  6. avatar Jim Nix says:

    wow Toad that church is a real gem, lovely shots and love the details in the door photo with the drain spout, so nice!

  7. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    I would never have guessed this church was that old! Beautiful photos , I especially enjoy the shots of the door and its arch!

  8. avatar Mike says:

    Great use of the shadows from the trees Toad. This place is a gem and you captured it very well.

  9. Well I guess I can go with the popular vote on the door! I really like these shots Toad! I am a huge fan of old churches – the architecture seems like something that can’t be replicated today. Design and function were very important back then as is evident in that drain-spout. And as always I enjoyed reading your post today!

  10. avatar adrian22 says:

    I’m in accord with all the comments here! You’ve captured terrific images of Nanaimo’s historic St. Andrew’s United Church. I serve as manager to musician Allison Crowe who does, indeed, perform in the Church this December. In fact, her “Tidings” show at the Church is a tradition. And, the sanctuary does have wonderful acoustics – just steps through that lovely entrance-way 🙂

    • WOW!!! 🙂 This is fabulous, thank you SO much for taking the time to pop by and leave us these most WONDERFUL comments!! We certainly love Allison Crowe and if we can, we’ll try to make the show! That is, if any tickets are left! What a huge, huge honor and delight to see that you came by, thank you SO much! Best wishes to you and Allison from the Toads here on Vancouver Island!!

      • avatar adrian22 says:

        We’ll certainly be delighted to meet any Toads that make the hop on December 11 🙂

        It really is wonderful to see such representations of a building we know and love well – and which ’cause us to see and appreciate the building anew.

        best’, Adrian

        • What a honor to have a chance to chat, and to know that our work has some meaning for you guys! We’re watching our calendar, there’s a very very good chance we’ll be there! Gosh, Adrian, thank you so very much for taking the time here, it really means a whole lot to us. All the best to you and Allison!

  11. avatar Jim Denham says:

    That’s a pretty amazing church! Hope it gets the facelifts it needs! Another classic Toad post – well done!

  12. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    I love that bright paint around the door. Nice set of images man!