Glass Art in Canada 

Stained glass in an enormous range of styles and techniques is perhaps Canada's most widespread public art Radiant creations illuminate 160 years of public buildings in virtually every city and town of this vast country.

Canadian studios began at least as early as 1856,   founded by European-trained artists in Québec and Ontario. Windows were often commissioned from  England,  France, Germany and the United States, along with a few other European countries. Collectors have acquired windows dating as far back as 1533.  


Of national significance in Vancouver are depictions of 30 key events in Canadian history, beginning with Giovanni Caboto's arrival in 1497; at Canadian Memorial Chapel.  Conceived as a monument to the many thousands of Canadians who died in what was still called The Great War, these elaborate representations of every Province were completed in 1928.

Today, artists and crafts people in every province continue the ancient tradition in styles ranging from the medieval and Victorian, to 20th century modernism, naive and folk art, and  21st century avant-garde.

The Institute has undertaken a wide-ranging national survey of Canada's  overlooked treasures in traditional and modern glass - your help is warmly invited. 


Coming in 2014/15:

glass art

Angels and Demons  slide show:   a small green stained glass demonWe found only a few "real" demons  in stained glass,  including this scaly green monster made in 1170 for Troyes Cathedral in  France.  These days demons are usually symbolized by snakes and dragons.  Angels are still Angels.


As of April 2014 there are some 5500 photos on our site, mainly  from  the Western provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  Annotations are in place for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and for the 107 Glimpses of Canada exhibition.

We are currently editing some 2000 new photos and hope to document at least 100  additional buildings in 2014-15. Following upon the steady progression of the Western Canada portion of the archive, we invite cities and provinces in the East to join our efforts to document this neglected aspect of Canadian history and art.



































All photos ©  2002 to 2014  Patrick Burns and ISGC unless otherwise indicated.

                                       theologia, queen of all learning

                                                                      Theologia, Mythical Queen of All Learning (detail) 

                                                                                                                      Henry Holiday,   London, England 1893                                                                                                                               Bryce Hall, University of Winnipeg

    canadian flyer circa 1918       a stained glass window of geese at sunset      louis riel's proclamation


GLIMPSES of Canada

First Published Survey of Canada's Stained Glass

86 places in 


86 buildings in 30 locations with Google Maps

   62 places in


    62  buildings in 17 locations 





                                British Sailing Ship   

                          53 places in

                                  BRITISH COLUMBIA                                                                

                                             53 buildings in 7 locations  



                                                        Western Canada Photostream  

                                                                       400 close-ups of flowers, fish,                                                                                                                    buffalo, First Nations, kids,  rainbows,                                                                                                                 battles,  memorials and a lot more ... (bring your mouse)




                       In honour of Louis David Riel (1844-1885),  we celebrate                                                                       the Supreme Court of Canada's  judgement of  March 8, 2022, recognizing                                                           Canada's failure to abide by the  Manitoba Act of 1870, with devastating effect on the Métis people                                for 143 years.  We are confident that tributes to Riel in stained glass will appear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Riel Captured                                                                                                                                                                                              Batoche, Saskatchewan,  May 1885                                                                                                                                                               Photo Courtesy Archives of Canada                       






                                                                                                                                   16th Century Ship                                                                                                                              Vitreous enamel with dalle de verre border in lead cames                                                                                                                                                                                 Rault Fréres,  France  1958

                                                                                                                                       St Joseph's Church, Alma, Québec                                                                                                                                          

Some businesses we know

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Cannect Home Equity Loans
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Cannect Home Financing Mortgage Broker
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Cannect Private Mortgages & Small Business Loans
33 Gladstone Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 3K7
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Trinity Family Dental Clinic Whitby
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Atlantis Pools & Spas
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Forever Green Landscaping Inc.
340 Churchmans Road New Castle, DE 19720
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Shag To Chic
232 Reimer Avenue, Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 0T5, Canada



Interactive 3-D Interior Panoramas:        

            Notre Dame de Bon Secours Chapel, Montréal (1771)                                           

                 Shrine of  Saint Anne de Beaupré,  near Québec City  (1926) (1926)                                

             3D photos courtesy Jean-Pierre Lavoie  ©  2013