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St. Raphael's Ruins

May the almighty and merciful God direct us in the way of peace and prosperity; and may the Angel Raphael accompany us in our journey, that we may return to our home with joy, in peace, safety and good health.


a prayer adapted from the Golden Manual 


The Story of the Ruins

The extraordinary ruins of this church recall the early history of Roman Catholicism in Upper Canada.


Begun in 1815, St. Raphael's Church originally served as the centre of the colony's largest and most important parish, and the administrative headquarters of the first Roman Catholic bishop, Alexander Macdonell. Situated in the heart of the historic Highland settlement, the parish was the cradle of Catholicism in Ontario.


The ruins left standing after the fire of 1970 serve as a testament to Bishop Macdonell's determined efforts to forward the interests of his faith.

The Great Fire



St. Raphael's Ruins is open 7 days a week. They are run by the Friends of the Ruins. If you would like more information about the Ruins or about using the Ruins for an event you should contact them directly.

Friends of the Ruins

P.O.Box 190

Williamstown, Ontario

K0C 2J0


Bishop Alexander Mcdonell,
First Bishop of Upper Canada

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