Sudbury·Audio

St. Mary's Ukrainian Church recognized by Ontario Association of Architects

The Ontario Association of Architects has designated St. Mary's Ukrainian Church in Sudbury as a landmark.
Toon Dreessen, president of Ontario Association of Architects, says St. Mary's Ukrainian Church preserves the history of the Ukrainian community in Sudbury and is a source of enormous pride to its members. (Jeff Walters/CBC)
St Mary's Ukrainian Church in Sudbury has been given a landmark designation by the Ontario Association of Architects. We spoke about the designation and why it was given to the church with Toon Dreessen, the president of the OAA. 6:01

The Ontario Association of Architects has designated St. Mary's Ukrainian Church in Sudbury as a landmark.

The recognition gives the church — the brick building with the dome near the intersection of St. Anne's Road and Notre Dame Avenue — iconic status and should help foster pride, the association says.

Association president Toon Dreessen said the building is "serene, pristine, modern, [and] spectacularly beautiful in a way that's not seen much today. There's an incredible level of craft and refinement to the interior that's been just beautifully preserved."

The interior of St. Mary's Ukrainian Church in Sudbury has "almost an ethereal, floating quality to the light that permeates the space," and Ontario architect says. (St. Mary's Ukrainian Church)

The church also preserves the history of the Ukrainian community in Sudbury and is a source of enormous pride to its members, he noted.

"The church was part of the Ukrainian community who emigrated to Sudbury in the 1890's and they brought their cultural traditions with them," Dreessen continued.

"I think it was very bold of the Ukrainian community to have undertaken this church in respecting its traditional layout, the Byzantine tradition."

St. Mary's Ukrainian Church is being recognized as a landmark by the Ontario Association of Architects. (St. Mary's Ukrainian Church)

A 'modern interpretation'

He said the building isn't a replication of a traditional Byzantine church "from the Old Country."

The 45-year-old building is a "very modern interpretation and understanding that married very well the iconography, the form, the mass of the things that were most important — but to a modern sensibility, to a modern sense of space and quality," Dreessen said.

"There's almost an ethereal, floating quality to the light that permeates the space."

with files from Kate Rutherford

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