Plaqued Houses and Buildings
155 King Street - Victoria Hall
Victoria Hall was added onto St. Jude's Church in 1887
Property Details:
The main part of St. Jude's Church was completed in 1883, replacing the original church situated at the northwest corner of Colborne Street (now Lakeshore Road) and Thomas Street.

However, it wasn't until 1887 that Victoria Hall was added on the south side of the church. The hall was intended to house a growing Sunday school, as well as accommodating church functions such as meetings, receptions and various social events like church suppers and bazaars. The plaque is on Thomas Street, although the street address that most closely matches Victoria Hall on Google Maps is 155 King Street.

A beautiful stained-glass window was installed on the east side of Victoria Hall when the building was completed. It commemorated Queen Victoria's Jubilee, and was a gift of Christopher Armstrong, an owner of the Marlatt and Armstrong Tannery, and for many years a warden at St. Jude's.

The church, including Victoria Hall, was built at a time of increasing growth in the congregation, St. Jude's being the only Anglican Church in Oakville at the time. The Reverend Canon Worrell, who served the parish as Rector from 1869 to 1903, presided over the church during this period of growth.

Until 1893, Victoria Hall was lit by oil lamps, like the rest of St. Jude's Church. However, at the Easter Vestry meeting in that year, it was decided that the church, including Victoria Hall, was to be lit by electricity. For many years thereafter, the oil lamps remained in their brackets throughout the church as the back-up source of illumination in case the unreliable town electrical system failed to function. The heating system was run from a coal furnace, the main source of heating in houses and other buildings at the turn of the Twentieth Century.

During the incumbency of Reverend C.E. Riley (1922-1925), and with the economic prosperity and consequent population growth of Oakville during the 1920's, the congregation of St. Jude's grew substantially. As a result, the ever-growing Sunday School was accommodated in an expansion of the Parish Hall (Victoria Hall). An extension was erected to the west of Victoria Hall. The contract was let in 1924, and the addition completed the following year. The addition incorporated a recreation room in the basement, a hall upstairs (now the Helen Poole Room and church library), and classrooms for the Sunday school on the second floor. Offices were also built on the main floor. A stairway linked Victoria Hall on the lower level, to the new addition on the upper level.

Victoria Hall and the adjacent addition reverberated with the sounds of Sunday school teachers teaching lessons, children singing hymns and the sound of the piano being played by Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Alec Chisholm. The Sunday school commenced each Sunday at 2:30 in the afternoon. Mr. E.T. Lightbourn was the Sunday School Superintendent for thirty years. There was a weekly homework assignment for the students from the Sunday school leaflet. A Christmas concert was held annually under the supervision of Miss Kathleen Appleby. The Sunday School students also enjoyed many social activities to enrich their programme, including sleigh rides along Lakeshore Road and an annual Sunday school picnic by excursion steamer from Oakville to pleasure grounds at places such as Port Dalhousie and Wabasso Park (now La Salle Park) in Aldershot.

Not only did the Sunday School make good use of Victoria Hall, but other church groups used the facility such as the Mothers' Union, the Altar Guild, the Women's Guild and the Women's Auxiliary.

In 1954, as the congregation grew during the postwar years, a further addition was erected on the southwest side of St. Jude's. The westerly part of the church was extended northerly and included a choir vestry, sacristy and offices for the Rector, Canon T.C Jackson, as well as secretarial space. The work commenced in 1954 and was completed by July 1955. On May 22nd of that year, the addition was consecrated by the Anglican Bishop of Niagara.

Today, Victoria Hall is still used extensively for events including church meetings and social events such as the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. In 2021, the hall received a commemorative historical plaque installed on the outside wall at the southeast corner of the hall.
1. The George Sumner Diaries, Oakville Historical Society Archives
2. "Recollections of St. Jude's Church", by Frances Robin Ahern
3. St. Jude;s Church, Oakville - 1942 to 1957 by A.H. Lightbourn
Click to Enlarge
Victoria HallVictoria Hall
155 King Street Plaque155 King Street Plaque
The Victoria WindowThe Victoria Window
Christopher ArmstrongChristopher Armstrong
Mr. And Mrs. ArmstrongMr. And Mrs. Armstrong