Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Chippawa

Front view of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. Photo: [exploreniagara.com; http://war1812.tripod.com/trinity1.html; www. flickr.com].

Monument dedicated to those who died at The Battle of Chippawa. Photo: [exploreniagara.com; http://war1812.tripod.com/trinity1.html; www. flickr.com].

Church interior. Photo: [exploreniagara.com; http://war1812.tripod.com/trinity1.html; www. flickr.com].


Secord Significance

Laura Secord attended Holy Trinity Anglican Church while she was living in Chippawa. She is also believed to have met Prince Albert Edward of Wales, later King Edward VII, at a church service there in 1860. Queen Victoria, the prince's mother, later awarded Laura with 100 pounds for her service during the War of 1812.

General Information

Holy Trinity Anglican Church is the first church that was built in Chippawa, and is one of the oldest parishes in the Niagara Region. The church is located along major historic transportation routes and was also important during and after the War of 1812. A highlight of the church's history was the purported 1860 meeting between Laura Secord and Prince Albert Edward of Wales (later King Edward VII of England), who rewarded her for her service during the War of 1812.

Holy Trinity is both an historic building and an active parish. Weekly services are held at the church, and the church community remains involved in outreach programs, seniors programs, 'Out of the Cold' shelter programs, Sunday school, Bible studies, and other support services for church and community members.

Because of its importance in the history of the Niagara Region, especially during the War of 1812, the church has been designated as a building of significance under the Ontario Heritage Act. Any changes made to the building or property will now require permission from the heritage council.

The church itself has an interesting history dating back to the early 19th century. In 1818 a petition was sent to England, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts asking for a clergyman, and Reverend William Leeming was sent as missionary. The current building replaces one that was burnt down in 1839 during the MacKenzie Revolution. Leeming and a number of others donated the funds for the construction of the current church building, also built in the Gothic style.

Although of simple design, Holy Trinity Anglican Church has several architectural features that are of great heritage value. The church is an excellent example of early English Gothic Revival style architecture, featuring windows and entrances with pointed arches, a gabled roof and a square bell tower. The central tower has a beautiful almond-shaped stained glass window and a brilliant white steeple with four smaller steeples surrounding it. The original church was built of local limestone, still visible in the foundations upon which this church now stands.

From Toronto:
(approx. 1 hour 20 min)

  • Take the ON-403 West then merge onto the Queen Elizabeth Way East toward Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie
  • After 69.5 km take the exit on the left onto ON-420 East toward The Falls/Niagara Falls U.S.A., travel 3.7 km
  • Turn right onto Stanley Avenue and continue for 1.7 km
  • Turn left onto Main Street
  • Continue onto Portage Road, keeping left after crossing the Marineland Parkway
  • Destination will be on the left, immediately after passing Marineland

From Niagara Falls:
(approx. 10 min from the Rainbow Bridge)

  • - Head north on Rainbow Bridge toward Blondin Avenue
  • Make a slight right onto Blondin Avenue after 130 m
  • Take the first right onto Hiram Street
  • After 120 m turn right onto (south) River Road
  • Continue onto Niagara Parkway
  • After 3.5 km turn right onto Upper Rapids Boulevard
  • Take the next left onto Portage Road
  • Destination will be on the left immediately after passing Marineland

From Fort Erie:
(approx. 20 min from the Peace Bridge)

  • Head west on the Queen Elizabeth Way toward Toronto
  • After 15 km take exit 16 onto Sodom Road E (Regional Road 16), turning right at the end of the exit ramp
  • Drive 6.7 km then turn Right onto Main Street
  • Turn left on Cummington Square W which becomes Portage Road
  • Destination will be on the right

Celebrated Canadian heroine Laura Secord and her husband James were members of the Holy Trinity congregation for a number of years. When her husband James Secord died in 1841, Laura Secord continued to attend Holy Trinity Anglican Church until her own death in 1868.

Laura and the Prince

A highlight of the Church's history was the probable September 1860 encounter between Laura Secord and Prince Albert Edward of Wales on his visit to Canada. While visiting Canada in 1860, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) learned about Laura Secord's heroic 32 km trek to warn British Forces of a surprise attack being planned by opposing Americans. Laura wrote an 1860 letter to the Prince of Wales describing her war-time service, apparently in anticipation of being presented to him. She also placed her signature among those of other War of 1812 veterans, the only woman to do so.

There is unfortunately no record of the precise details of her encounter with the Prince of Wales. It is unclear if she was introduced to the prince directly on the day he visited Holy Trinity, but he was certainly made aware of her story, and her obituary stated that she had indeed met him in person.

Laura was 85 before she achieved public recognition for her exploits. In March of 1861, she received an award of £100 from Queen Victoria of England, which was the only official recognition of her efforts made during her lifetime, and which was widely reported in the press of the day. Researchers still debate whether the award was an effort to recognize Laura Secord's exploits during the War, or if it was intended as an aid to an aging widow. It is likely that both factors were involved.

Although both of their funeral services were held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, James and Laura Secord were not actually buried in the adjacent cemetery. Instead, both were interred in Drummond Hill cemetery on Lundy's Lane. When Laura died in 1868 at the age of 93, she was buried beside her husband. In 1901, their original modest marble headstones were replaced with a dramatic bronze bust of Laura Secord sculpted by Canadian Artist Mildred Peel. The original Secord headstones were later relocated to the entranceway of Holy Trinity Church, where they can be seen to this day.

Other Monuments Onsite

A monument was set up at Holy Trinity Church in 1984 to commemorate all those who had fallen in the Battle of Chippawa in 1814, dedicated to British, American and Native forces as well as all others who had died during the battle, both civilian and soldier. A provincial plaque also marks the property as an important historic site during that same time period.

The Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario placed a plaque which is located on church grounds:


Canada's Historic Places: Holy Trinity Church. Retrieved from

The War of 1812 Website: Biography of Laura Secord. Retrieved from

Hughes, A. (2009). The Prince of Wales at Niagara. Retrieved from

Hughes, Alun. 2012. Laura Secord and the Prince of Wales. Looking back... with Alun Hughes. Historical Society of St. Catharines, March 2012. Available online at http://www.niagaragreenbelt.com/pdfs/Hughes_Alun_2012_Laura_Secord_and_the_Prince_of_Wales.pdf.

Parakh, D. for Lundy's Land Historical Museum. (1997). Early Anglican Churches.Human Resources Development SCP Grant.Retrieved from

Public Archives of Canada. Laura Secord's memorial to the Prince of Wales in 1860. Archive reference: RG 7, G23, 1, file 2.

- Church
- Parish Hall
- Cemetery

Accessible parking spaces, entrance and restrooms

7820 Portage Rd
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2G 5Y8 Municipality Niagara Falls


(905) 295-3212



Latitude: 43.061715
Longitude: -79.057757
UTM easting: 658151.68
UTM northing: 4769500.46

Terry Holub
Tel (905) 295-3212
Fax (905) 295-0526
Email htnf@niagara.com

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