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Municipal Heritage Committee, Cornwall Ontario

Nativity Church 300 Montreal Road

This church was designed and its construction supervised by the second pastor of the parish, the Rev. Paul Antoine DeSaunhac, a native of Toulouse, France. The first mass was celebrated in the church on Christmas Day, 1891. It was the church of the first French parish in Cornwall to serve the many French Canadians attracted to the city by its booming textile industry. It continues to serve today.

The imposing south façade, with its high stone tower and spire, is set back from Montreal Road, creating a large forecourt. The spire is a dominant feature in the skyline of the east-end of Cornwall. Gothic influence is evident in the buttressed stone walls and the pointed arches of the windows and doors. The very fine interior also shows gothic inspiration in the vaulted ceilings of the nave and side aisles and in the decorated details of the upper walls of the sanctuary and below the vaults of the nave. Fourteen stained glass windows, ten dating back to the early 1900's and four mounted about 1950; sculptured stations of the cross; the organ screen and the ornate main doors at the front side of this century-old temple.