Stained Glass


Near North Stained Glass Windows

Although the Near North was settled later than southern Ontario, there are still many churches in this area which are over 100 years old. There are a number of small wooden country churches which are still active like the one at Pevensey. But we have also lost many of these to fire or rebuilding. Most of the urban churches are the second or third structure on the same site.

Some of these older churches, like Pro-Cathedral in North Bay, were able to place stained glass windows in all of their window openings from the start. Others had plain coloured glass windows. These were replaced slowly over the years as families or groups from the congregation donated the cost of putting in new stained glass windows instead. Some of these windows are as recent as the 1980s.

Windows donated by the congregation are usually dedicated to the memory of a loved one. This dedication is crafted right into the design of the window and remains as a permanent marker of the members of the congregation and sometimes of their contribution to the church. The church thereby becomes a repository of community memory. The art of stained glass is an ancient one often associated with the great cathedrals of Europe . In Canada the early churches of Quebec have some outstanding examples of the art. Many of these can be found at <>. Some church windows are abstract but most of them have biblical themes. Historic themes are not uncommon. Occasionally, we also find northern themes being expressed as in the window at Pevensey.


The artists who have produced the stained glass windows we admire are often not known unless church archives contain references to the purchase. Some are signed in the lower right corner. McCausland Company in Toronto, a company that advertised in the Globe in the 1920s, is the maker of some of the windows in North Bay. Only rarely will windows be made locally.

Stained glass windows are at their best with the sunlight streaming through them to bring out their vibrant colours. As many of the people who attend church tend to only go to one church, these wonderful works of art are seen by only a few people. Perhaps this online exhibit will motivate some to visit the churches in person.