Houses of Holy | Munn’s United Church (1823)

The modern city of Oakville comprises several historical villages and settlements; In contrast, some are more visible than others; one that many drive through without thought is the village of Munn, marked today by a public school, cemetery and church.

Houses of Holy - Munn's United Church (1823)
Graflex Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Adox CHS 100 II @ ASA-100 – Adox Atomal 49 (Stock) 5:45 @ 20C

First settled in 1803 by Daniel Munn and his wife around the intersection of 6th Line and Dundas Road after fleeing the United States during the final days of the American Revolution, Daniel quickly established a farm and tavern along Dundas Road when the Trafalgar Township was surveyed. Daniel, like many Loyalists, was a Methodist, and the first noted worship service was held on the Munn Farm in 1817. These early services were infrequent until the population grew enough to warrant Munn’s Corners being added to a Methodist Circuit. There is a good chance that the Munn congregation became a part of the Ancaster circuit in 1823 when regular Methodist services began on the Munn farm, eventually becoming part of the newly formed Trafalgar Circuit in 1830 and remained with a freshly created Wesleyan branch of the Methodist Church that same decade. By this point, the congregation worshipped in the local schoolhouse, a log structure built in 1809. But when the school decided to build their new building, the Munn family donated a section of their plot to build a chapel and establish a cemetery. In 1844, a simple wood frame chapel was completed after the burial ground at the southeast corner of the sixth line and Dundas Road. Because the congregation never split, it joined with the Methodist Church in 1884 without little change to the congregation. When the school decided to move to a new location further east on Dundas, the congregation secured the purchase of the land across the road for a new brick chapel. The Gothic Revival structure was completed in 1898 for 3,000$, along with a small brick parsonage. In 1925, the congregation became a part of the United Church of Canada but kept the name Munn’s. And the small congregation continued to serve the local area as Oakville expanded, but when the Province decided to expand Highway 5 (Dundas Street), the congregation stuck a deal. They would move their entire church back to allow for the lane expansion but would get a proper well and dig a new foundation with a basement in the process. The work also allowed them to construct an appropriate car park at the cost of the old parsonage; everything was completed by 1977. A new addition was completed in 1987; this added proper church offices, Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, a church hall and a child care centre. Today, the congregation of Munn’s United Church remains a vibrant and active congregation on Oakville’s northern expansion and continues to serve a new population of the former village. The cemetery is still around and across the road but has been under the control of the municipal government since the 1990s.

This is another church positioned across a six-lane stretch of Dundas Street, but this time I didn’t have the option of setting up on the centre median, which would have put me in danger. Instead, I set up near the cemetery and used my 210mm lens, which has enough reach to fill the frame while allowing a slight angle on the building to show the original sanctuary and a bit of the 1980s addition.

If you wish to worship with this congregation, they will be happy to welcome you! Please check out the congregational website for details on attending services worship either in-person on online streaming!

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