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Canadian Churches


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About the Author

Peter Richardson is Emeritus Professor of the University of Toronto in the Department for the Study of Religion. His books include Building Jewish in the Roman East and Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans.

Douglas Richardson is Emeritus Professor of the University of Toronto in the Department of Fine Art. His books include The Open Gate: Toronto Union Station; Ontario Towns; and A Not Unsightly Building: University College and Its History.

John de Visser has over 50 books to his credit. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications.


This beautifully illustrated book, which includes the history of each church and its construction, is a must for architecture and history buffs.--Laila Maalouf"Destinations" (12/01/2007)
Recommended for its breadth, engaging and informative text, and discriminating selection of representative church architecture.--Russell T. Clement"Library Journal" (11/15/2007)
Delightful for historians and architectural buffs.--Lois Cooper"Muskoka Today" (12/13/2007)
Takes us on a mammoth photographic tour of 180 places of worship.--Scott McDonald"Quill and Quire" (08/31/2007)
Oversized, in full colour, this book is an important reference for Canadian Christian architecture.--Gloria Hildebrandt"Escarpment Views" (12/01/2008)
Richardson's book has not been out more than a month, and already five of its featured churches have been lost.--Jennifer Green"Ottawa Citizen and" (12/21/2007)
Canadian Churches is a remarkable achievement, conveying the richness of the spiritual heritage of Canada, expressed in its built form.--Joan Tardif"Catholic Insight" (12/01/2007)
Illustrated throughout with specially commissioned photographs, artwork, drawings and illustrations, this book is a must for anyone interested in history, architecture and religion.--Heritage Matters, Vol 6 Issue 3, publication of On (09/01/2008)
A striking and thorough journey into the history and architecture of Canada's religious buildings.... Stunning photographs.... This full-color tome should satisfy anyone seeking enlightenment in Canada's architectural and religious history.-- (12/01/2007)
[reviewed with Canadian Cemeteries] It is de Visser's images that really make both books sparkle, with heavenly sense for new angles and shafts of light. For their part, the authors of both books manage to keep up with de Visser's brilliance, covering their respective topics with impressive passion.-- (10/01/2007)
A compendium of detailed descriptions and stunning photos of churches from across Canada ... some of them almost too incredible for words.-- (12/15/2007)
Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, Canadian Churches: An Architectural History is a most moving experience.... What one will take from this book is a profound sense of reverence for these sacred buildings.-- (12/01/2007)
[reviewed with Old Canadian Cemeteries] They are generous banquets for both eye and mind, architectural field guides for the curious, treasuries of information aobut realms of Canadian material culture that, to my knowledge, have never before been give popular treatments more ample.... Canadian Churches succeeds as a worthwhile overview of the country's religious architecture.-- (10/27/2007)
An impressive and timely coffee table book... a worthwhile overview of the country's religious architectural heritage.-- (12/24/2007)
Sumptuously illustrated ... The Richardson brothers provide us not only with a comprehensive geographical and chronological survey of Canada's Christian sacred buildings but also place these monuments to faith in both a theological and sociological context... [They] have produced a remarkable document that deserves the widest possible audience.-- (12/01/2007)
The first definitive guide to more than 180 of the most beautiful and significant churches across the country.--University of Toronto Bulletin (12/11/2007)
This 448 page masterpiece dedicated to the art of ecclesiastical architecture has left out very few of the vast number of churches from coast to coast. Richly documented with vivid colour photography ... this is a must have to those who live in decommissioned churches as inspiration to [their] care and restoration, or to those who love our built ecclesiastic heritage.-- (10/01/2007)
Sumptuous ... a veritable feast of colour.... The many rewarding hours readers are sure to enjoy with this book make it a wonderful addition to anyone's library.-- (11/12/2007)
The rather dry title...only hints at the riches within this enormous, comprehensive, stunningly beautiful survey of Christian houses of worship in this huge northern country.... It is a dangerous book to open if the reader only has a few moments to spare.-- (10/01/2007)
Simply incredible...visually satisfying... insightful, interesting and meticulously researched.... This book would be a huge hit for anyone interested in Canadian history, architecture and religion.-- (03/01/2008)
Over and over John de Visser's stunning and mind-swallowing photographs illustrate architectural imagination as a unique height of human capability. The authors' fresh and engaging text informs with intriguing h istorical and architectural detail and delights sylistically too.-- (04/01/2008)
The book is a significant contribution to the history of architecture in Canada. Packed with gorgeous photographs, plans and elevations, it is a handy reference work and the kind of book anyone can consult before a weekend drive.-- (06/09/2008)
The beauty and religious diversity of the profiled churches illustrate how architecture shapes a congregation's worship service.... Christopher Wren said, "Architecture aims at eternity."The churches visited in this book bear out that observation.-- (01/01/2008)
In Canadian Churches, religious historian P. Richardson and architectural historian D. Richardson (both, emer., Univ. of Toronto) strike a graceful balance between a broad range of types that represent chronological and geographic diversity while grouping the buildings into compelling narratives that center on historic and cultural context rather than the old-school approach to categorization by style.... First divided geographically, the book then unfolds in sections that highlight significant seasons of church design and construction, telling the stories of a wide range of places and traditions, from the egalitarian millenarians who built Sharon Temple to the Ukrainian Catholics of Ontario. The refreshingly contextual historical narratives are made more enjoyable by the book's beautiful production, with rich color photographs by de Visser and occasional plans, sections, and period drawings. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers.-- (07/01/2008)
But for its size and weight, [Canadian Churches] would make an indispensable vade-mecum for travellers.... The prose captures and teases out the pictorial content of the splendid illustrations, in which often enough only two pictures stand for the monument.... Accessible to the amateur, there will also be enlightenment for those well versed in Canada's ecclesiastical built heritage. The organization of the book, a difficult in such a broadly ecumenical cross-country survey, has been achieved with great success.... In a time of accelerating church closures, changes in use, or even demolition, the Richardsons' work can educate and inform the actions of church officials and congregations.-- (04/01/2008)
There are plenty of beautiful, famous and historic churches worth visiting in Canada, a point made emphatically [in this book.]--Ottawa Sun (10/29/2007)

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