Churches are one such structure that represents the diversity, culture, and beauty of the place. It also contains centuries and decades’ worth of history in it.
10 Best Serene Churches in Ottawa
Ottawa has many great churches that have a rich history. Churches also offer a place to be at peace and have time with yourself. Presbyterian Churches, Catholic Church, United Church, Orthodox, and Baptist Church are various churches you can find across the entire city.
Below are the ten most beautiful Churches worth visiting.
1. What are the Types of Churches?
There is a great variety of churches you can visit in Ottawa. Some of these are well-known as Catholic churches, but some of them can be lesser known as Presbyterian churches and united churches.
Read below to learn about these interesting churches.
1.1. Presbyterian Churches
Presbyterian churches are a part of Presbyterianism. It is a part of reformed Protestantism. It was first created in Scotland by John Knox, a priest from Scotland.
The theology of this group shines mainly on the special power of God, the scriptures, and the need for grace in the faith towards god.
Canada has the largest community. It was formed in Canada in 1875. The root goes to the reformation in the early times of the 16th century and is very influenced by John Calvin’s Geneva Republic.
Ottawa has a big chunk of Presbyterians, which result in more than one presbyterian church in the region.
1.2. Catholic Churches
These churches belong to the biggest group in Christianity, with almost 1.3 billion baptized members, Roman Catholics. It is also one of the oldest and largest organizations. This church is also often called as Roman Catholic Church.
They played an integral part in the western world’s development and history. The pope is the chief priest of the church. The catholic churches believe and teach that it is the holy, catholic, and one church founded by Christ.
The Catholic church in Canada is also a part of this institution. It has a dispersed structure, meaning each bishop is autonomous but is still under the pope’s command. Ottawa is second place in Canada in the count of believers.
1.3. Orthodox Churches
The Orthodox Churches belong to the East Orthodox Church. It is the 2nd largest church, with almost 220 million members. These churches have no central authority like the Catholic church. This is also an old religious institute.
This wonderful church has a major part in the history and development of Southeast and eastern Europe. They believe in the holy traditions, which include seven councils, scriptures, and the church fathers’ lessons.
The orthodox church was introduced in the 19th century. It happened as the Christians migrated from Europe and the middle east.
Taking this heritage into account, even today, these churches are traditionally organized with their hierarchy of dioceses and parishes.
According to a survey done in 2021, the Greek Orthodox is the largest in Canada, followed by Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Romanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Antiochian, and other minorities of Orthodox Communities. Ottawa has a large population of these Communities.
1.4. Anglican Churches
These churches belong to the Anglican community. It is the 3rd biggest community. It was founded in 1867 in England.
As of now, there are more than 85 million total members. The origin of this doctrine is summed up in the 31 articles in 1571.
These churches consider themselves part of the holy catholic church and both reformed and catholic. The community includes the practices and general beliefs found in the Anglo-Catholic, Apostle Anglican church, Evangelist Anglican church, and central ethics of Anglicanism.
Each Anglican regional or national church is usually fully independent while retaining its legislative process under the leadership of local primates.
The Anglican Churches of Canada have almost 360,000 members with almost 2,200 congregations and various parishes.
1.5. Baptist Churches
Canadian Baptist churches are a major part of protestants and can be differentiated by baptizing Christian believers. It is done by complete immersion in water.
These churches generally consist of Soul responsibility and salvation with faith only and scripture with the rule of practice and faith.
Baptists generally make two rules, Baptism and Communion. Their history and rules are diverse from the beginning. Even today, Baptists differ in how they worship, what they have faith in, their attitude toward others, and the importance of Christian discipleship. United Church also comes under these churches.
The theory of the Baptist churches includes Calvin’s beliefs or Armenian. Various small groups hold different settings, and some allow diversity within them.
2. 10 Most Beautiful Churches
Ottawa is a beautiful place that has a lot of architecture that holds a lot of history, beauty, and culture. Churches are a major center of history; culture and it exceeds beauty and peace.
2.1. St. Elias Antiochian Cathedral
It is an Eastern Orthodox Antiochian church that is in Ottawa, Ontario. It is at 2975 Riverside Drive, south of Hog’s Back Falls. It is one beautiful church with a great interior and amazing stained-glass windows.
Lebanese migrants founded this church in 1929. Before it, the people went to the church downtown.
Due to the civil war in Lebanon, the number of migrants increased in the 70s and 80s, and the community became larger. By 2000, the Ottawa church was commemorated as a cathedral.
There is also an annual Lebanese festival on the church ground every year for everyone. There are many more church activities like Sunday school, teen youth group, young adult’s ministry, the Antiochian Women, and so on.
2.2. St. Bartholomew Church
This cute and aesthetic Anglican church has amazing features. It can be a delight for the eyes. This Anglican church is situated in New Edinburg, on MacKay Street. This church was built in the 19th century.
Outer walls of the architecture have plaques that inform about the parish members in the 1st World War. Some banners talk about the community’s past is set inside. There are also stained-glass windows that pay tribute to the parishioners.
Just across the church is Rideau Hall, the official house of the Canadian monarch and governor-general.
This Anglican church was reportedly founded on 14th August 1867, i.e…….. Saint Bartholomew’s Day.
2.3. St. Paul’s Eastern United Church
This is one of the oldest congregations in Ottawa. The Romanesque stone church of the united church is located in Sandy Hill in Ottawa’s lower town on the corner of Daly & Cumberland Street, near Ottawa’s city center.
This united church was built in 1888-1889 by S.R. Badgley for St. Paul Presbyterian Church. It was initially a large steeple.
Woefully, the architecture of the United Church was on the sand, and it started to sink. Thus, the steeple was removed in the early 20th century, leaving it just a stone structure.
When the united church in Canada was created, it combined with the nearby eastern Methodist church, thus becoming Paul’s Eastern united church. It is one of the most loving churches in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood.
This is also one of the famous united churches. This remarkable church is a great place to relax, have a quiet prayer time and relax.
2.4. Notre-Dame Basilica
This catholic cathedral is one famous, largest, and oldest standing church in Ontario. It has been there for many centuries, survived everything, and sustained it.
In 1978, it was officially named a national historic site by the city hall.
It was originally a small church in 1832 known as St. Jacques Church. It was later demolished, and in its place, a bigger church was built by 1841.
The later parts were designed by Antoin Robillard and Father Cannon in a Classical-Neo style.
Thus, the cathedral’s interior differs from other churches and combines styles. The lower part of the church is Neo-classical style and the rest of its Neo-Gothic revival style.
There are stained glass windows, an indigo ceiling with stars, hundreds of religious figurines,s and 30 sculptures.
This church is the epitome of religious art. It is just the perfect spot to go for quiet prayer. Pay attention to the deets of the grandeur of the church. Go to their official website to know more about them and their worship service.
2.5. Knox Presbyterian Church
This is a wonderful Presbyterian church named after the founding person of Presbyterianism in Scotland, John Knox.
It was on Lisgar Street in 1933, designed by renowned architects Henry Sproatt and John Albert Ewart.
It was founded due to the split of St Andrew’s congregation, Ottawa’s first Presbyterian church. The first Knox church was in Sandy hill on the corner of Daly and Cumberland streets in 1875. this church later became an eastern united church.
The 2nd Knox church was on Elgin’s Street next to Ottawa’s second city hall. It was later demolished in 1932 and became the National Art Center .
The art of this Knox church is a blend of English Gothic style and Norman Church architecture. You can find columns, marble and stone decorations, two stained glass windows,s and an amazing Gothic feel to this place.
2.6. First Baptist Church
This is a very prime Baptist church in Ottawa. It was founded in 1857 as the first Baptist community in Ottawa. It was designed as a historic civic site in 1877-78. The church’s design screams Gothic Revival Style.
The former prime minister and Baptist member Alexander Mackenzie laid this foundation stone for this Baptist church. This prime church is part of Canada’s Baptist of Ontario and Quebec Union.
You can see the splendid interior of the church, with two great stained-glass windows. One of which has an Ottawa Valley theme.
2.7. Sainte-Anne Catholic Church
This beautiful church is a perfect example of traditional Québécois architecture left in the entire city.
It is on the Old St. Patrick Street in Ottawa’s Lower Town. It was designed by the famous architect J.P.Lecourt. This church is also an old church in the city.
In 1978, this church was marked under the 4th part of the Ontario Heritage act as a heritage property by the city of Ottawa.
St. Anne church is also the home to St. Clement Parish, a bilingual community that offers Latin mass and sacraments.
It has a gorgeous plain stone facade with a medieval-inspired rose window. The beautifully ornate classic doors, windows, and three niches with classical round arches can also be seen. These architectural arts are worth visiting.
2.8. Blessed Sacrament Church
This is a well-known catholic church that is in the Glebe Neighborhood. This parish, founded on 25th March 1913, was a simple and small chapel. The current cathedral at 194 fourth avenue was built in 1931 and opened in 1932.
This church, designed by John Gibb Morton, has been applauded for its amazing perpendicular Gothic style. The church’s design and lack of ornaments have caused many controversies as the church seemed more protestant than Catholic.
But the blessed sacrament church was later applauded for its modern style.
It covers the north and west side of the Rideau Canal over the Ottawa river and south of the Queensway. You can see a brass memorial tablet placed for church members in Canada’s military forces.
While it is one of the oldest churches, you can have a peaceful vibe and b, beautiful artwork in this cathedral.
2.9. St. Alban’s Anglican Church
This Anglican church is situated in the Sandy Hils neighbourhood in Ottawa. This is also one of the oldest churches and has a lot of history.
The famous Thomas Fuller did the original Gothic Revival style of the church in 1866. The construction was completed in 1867-68.
The renowned Anglican cathedral is named after the 1st British-Christian martyr, St Alban. He was killed for giving shelter to the oppressed and terrified.
This Anglican church was attended by many of Canada’s early political leaders. The churches have held many events like city-wide big give and yearly free pop-up stores of goodies.
This remarkable church comes under the Ontario Heritage Act. You can find limestone walls, bellicose and limestone quoins, an Irish cross vestry roof, a metal gable roof with heavy buttresses, and pointed-arch windows with geometric tracery.
2.10. St. Patrick’s Basilica
This Roman Catholic Cathedral is on Nepean Street 281 in the Ottawa Downtown. It is also the oldest church in Ottawa. The wall of this church is adorned by magnificent paintings created by Guido Nincheri from the 1920s to the 30s.
Like many churches, this church has a memorial tablet of members who died in the 1st and 2nd World Wars at just the entrance.
The entire basilica is designed in Gothic architectural Style with local stones. The ceilings have stencilled carvings, many stained-glass windows, a few marble altars, and prominent Oak pews. All this goes back as far as 1954.
You can also see a replica of Murillo’s idea of the Virgin Mary, which Québec nuns painted. This church can accommodate more than 1000 people.
This church is so good that it won the great North American Architecture Awards in the Historical Restoration division in 2009.
3. Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Q.1. Is Ottawa a safe city?
Ans- Many surveys have placed Ottawa in the country’s top 5 safe cities.
Q.2. Which is the largest church in Ottawa?
Ans- The oldest and largest church in Ottawa is the Notre Dame Basilica. It is also a National Historic Site of the nation.
Q.3. What are the architectural features found in churches in Ottawa?
Ans- You can find various types of architectural features in Ottawa churches. It can be Gothic Revival style, Neo-classical, and even modern style.
Q.4. What is the opening and closing time of the churches in Ottawa?
Ans- The heritage cathedrals and churches in Ottawa are open all day due to the tourist importance. Other churches are open during mass hours in the morning and evening. The special occasion time can vary from each church. Go to their official websites to know more.
Q.5. Are churches in Ottawa worth visiting?
Ans- Yes, the churches are magnificent. It is a whole package with various architectural detailing in and out. Most of the materials of the renovated churches are from Europe.
Q.6. Which are the most often visited Churches in Ottawa?
Ans- Notre Dame Basilica is the most visited church in Ottawa and Canada. This amazing church is also a UNESCO World Historic Site under cultural heritage.
Ottawa church is a great part of their culture and history. Many churches are majestic and have much historical importance.
Many churches come from certain backgrounds, it includes the catholic church, orthodox church, united church, Presbyterian church, and much more. There are much more churches not mentioned here, like the saint john church,
It is also one of the most visited places in Ottawa. Hundreds of tourists flock to these churches to see their marvelling interiors and exteriors. These churches are a great place to find peace and relax and have some moments in silence.
Try to visit these places when you visit Ottawa, as these places are a major part of Canadian history and culture.