Old Log Church

Building Location: 
Third Avenue and Elliott Street
Whitehorse, YT
Location Context: 

Refer to the Old Log Rectory

Description: 

One-storey Log Church

Architectural History: 

It is a log building with an L-shaped plan and a gable roof. The interior consists of stick frame trusses and the roof is covered with cedar shingles. 

In 1916, a vestry joining the church was rebuilt and enlarged. The baptistry, porchway and cloakroom were added in 1944 and a belfry was constructed in 1945. A new concrete foundation was a 1964 addition which was followed by interior renovations in 1982.

Cultural History: 

The first church services in Whitehorse were held in a tent structure in 1900 with the rector and his wife living in an adjacent 12' x 14' tent structure The log church was built by October 1900. During the winter of 1900 the forward portion, now containing the chancel and sanctuary, was partitioned and used by the missionary and his wife as their living quarters until the completion of the rectory in 1901. In 1953, the church was named the Cathedral Church of the Diocese, thus making it the first log cathedral. 

The bell tower was originally separate from the church, but in 1910, the tower fell over in a storm and the bell was cracked. Although a new bell was placed atop the church, it was not enclosed until 1945. 

Throughout the century, various renovations were made to the church. It was in use until 1960, when it was restored and turned into a church museum. 

The building was designated a Territorial Historic Site in 1978.

Biographical Information: 

Rev. R.J. Bowen: first Rector of Christ Church. 

  • came to Yukon 1895, married Miss Mellet, missionary teacher
  • left Yukon, but returned and built church and rectory before leaving territory because of ill health 

Hilda Hellaby: deaconess of Anglican Church 1951-1983

  • humanitarian in Vancouver before coming to Yukon in 1951
  • first Anglican woman in Canada to earn a theology degree
  • Hellaby hall named after her