Tour of architecturally striking homes a Christmas tradition at Anglican church

The St. James Anglican Holiday House Tour has been a tradition since the 1970s. Photo: Nelosa/Shutterstock
Published November 28, 2017

At the start of the often-hectic Christmas season, St. James Anglican Church in Dundas, Ont., offers an escape, with charming architecture, warm tea and Christmas cake, and a market of handmade goods bringing out the season’s cheer.

The 42nd annual St. James Anglican Holiday House Tour takes place Saturday, December 3 2017, in Dundas, Ont. The tour, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., has been a holiday tradition since the mid-1970s.

The event includes a tour of six Dundas homes as well as refreshments in the St. James Anglican Church parlour and the Dickens Lane Artisan Showcase. Gifts made by local artisans and Christmas baked goods, pies and preserves are available for purchase.

One of the houses on tour is 104 Park Street West, for many years the manse for the Baptist church next door. The home was built in 1867, with extensions and interior remodelling done later. Photo: Contributed

Houses on tour this year range from historic to modern, including a red-brick home in Dundas’s historical district dating from 1885, which boasts examples of Victorian-era architecture including original ceiling medallions and windows, and a working coal-burning fireplace. Another home on the tour, once the manse for the Baptist church next door, was originally built in 1867, with extensions and interior remodelling added later.

Modern homes on the tour include a spacious, open single-floor home dating from 2002, and a formal, seasonally decorated 2001 home.

The historic “Ellen Osler Home” is another stop on the tour. Originally the Ridler Private School, built in 1849, the home was purchased in 1909, after the school’s closing, by Sir Edmund Osler and his siblings and dedicated to their mother, Ellen Osler. It was used as a home for elderly and widowed women until purchased by the Salvation Army in 1974 and used as a home for those transitioning from custodial sentences back into the wider community.

Tickets for the event are $25 and are available at the church (137 Melville Street, Dundas), or at several locations listed on the church’s website. Proceeds support the ministries of the church within and beyond the parish of St. James, diocese of Niagara.

Situated at the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment, on the western edge of Lake Ontario, the town of Dundas is known as the “valley town.” Its historical district is filled with mature trees that are decorated with Christmas lights and often dusted with snow in December.


  • Joelle Kidd

    Joelle Kidd was a staff writer for the Anglican Journal from 2017 to 2021.

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