In rural Brampton, just on the outskirts of Toronto, built in 1995,
the parish church of St. Elias the Prophet rises high on the Peel Plain
above the Credit River Valley. Though this building was built in 1995,
the parish community was started in 1976.
A wooden structure of heavy timbers (Douglas Fir), it is sheathed in
Western red cedar. It has been constructed according to an architectural
style known as “Boyko”, derived from western Ukraine.
The 3 sections (altar, sanctuary, and narthex) are each topped with
a dome or cupola. According to Byzantine liturgical typology, the dome is an image of
The narthex is the world fallen after the sin of Adam, the Sanctuary
is the world redeemed following the Passion and Resurrection of Christ
Jesus, and the Altar is the World to Come, an image of the New Jerusalem.
The cupolas on the church of St. Elias are in the 17th century Cossack
style. It is one the only 2 Boyko churches that have 5 cupolas rather than
the usual 3 (the other being St. George's in Drohobych, Ukraine.
Steeped in the Byzantine Ukrainian tradition of wooden architecture,
St. Elias Church was designed on the principle that architectural form
should follow liturgical function.