Early Westmount Churches: Church of the Advent, St. Matthias and Westmount Park United

Sunday, November 11 2018

Tabernacle Chapel, Photo credit: WHA archives

Tabernacle Chapel, Photo credit: WHA archives

The early churches in Westmount were missions for congregations from downtown Montreal. As parishioners moved westward, some churches opened up small venues to accommodate them in the sparsely settled municipality. Across de Maisonneuve Blvd. from the towers of Mies van der Rohe’s Modernist Westmount Square sits a small red brick church. The Anglican Church of the Advent opened in 1892 and is the oldest surviving church building in Westmount. It changed ownership in 2005, when it became the House of Prayer of All Nations.

Church of the Advent, Photo credit: WHA archives

Early Saint-Matthias, Photo credit: WHA archives

Saint_Matthias 2018, Photo credit: Patrick Martin


The first church in our community was Anglican St. Matthias on Côte St. Antoine Rd. The original white clapboard mission church stood on the site of today’s parish hall. The land donated by Mrs. Raynes was on the southeast corner of her “Forden” estate. The present stone building was erected in 1912. For many years, the former church served as the parish hall, until it was demolished in 1935. St. Matthias is the regimental church of the Royal Montreal Regiment.


Westmount Park Church, Photo credit: WHA archives

In 1885 the Methodists built a small, clapboard tabernacle chapel at the corner of what is now de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Lansdowne. This was replaced in 1896 by a red brick Westmount Methodist Church. After Church Union in 1925, when Methodists, Congregationalists, and most Presbyterians amalgamated, greystone Westmount Park United Church was opened in 1929 to accommodate the enlarged congregation. This place of worship houses a vast collection of C. W. Kelsey stained-glass windows.

Caroline Breslaw