Hulse & English Funeral Home & Chapel

75 Church Street, St. Catharines, ON L2R 3C7 | 905-684-6346 | MAP

 
 
 
History of Hulse & English Funeral Home & Chapel
The Hulse & English Funeral Home & Chapel is not only one of Ontario’s most traditional and beautifully appointed establishments but also a valued historic component of the St. Catharines community by virtue of an unbroken line of service spanning more than 150 years.

The business was founded on December 12, 1834, by Thomas M’Intyre (or McIntyre), a young Scottish-born furniture maker. Originally a cabinet and upholstery warehouse, the business was established at 268 St. Paul Street at the corner of Carlisle. Within a few years, the firm branched into undertaking with the owner’s son, John B. McIntyre, forming a partnership in the 1870s.

Eventually, undertaking became the sole interest of the firm, and cabinetmaking and upholstery skills were applied exclusively to coffins, but not before Thomas McIntyre had fashioned a prodigious volume of superbly crafted furniture.

Fortunately for historians of Niagara furniture, the first quarter-century of the McIntyre shop was recorded in a surviving book. Appropriately, the first entry refers to “a drawing frame and drawer” and other office equipment supplied to the Welland Canal Company. It was the canal that brought St. Catharines its first wave of commercial prosperity, commencing in 1829. Later, John B. McIntyre would contribute to civic advancement as mayor of the city.

The McIntyre family ownership ended in 1928, when Percy M. Hulse purchased the business. After several years of operation on Academy Street, the business moved to its present site at 75 Church Street in 1937, the site of the former St. Paul Street United Church manse. In 1941, an English Gothic chapel was added, including a custom-designed Casavant Bros. pipe organ and set of chimes.

Adoption of the firm’s present name occurred in 1936 with the addition of William A. English to partnership. In 1961, Mr. English was appointed to the Board of Funeral Services for Ontario and served in the position for more than 15 years. As the business expanded, another addition was built in 1962 consisting of more rooms and a three-car garage.

Ian H. Russell became a partner in 1973 and acquired sole ownership of Hulse & English Funeral Home & Chapel five years later. Under his ownership, adjacent properties were purchased for additional parking facilities. In 1986, another addition to the funeral home was completed to accommodate the expanding business.

In March of 1997, the funeral home was sold by Ian H. Russell to an affiliate of Service Corporation International and became a part of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers, which it remains to this day.

Through the century, Hulse & English has grown from a 19th century furniture warehouse to a progressive funeral home meeting the needs of contemporary families, a tradition initiated by the McIntyre family and respectfully carried on by the current staff and management today.

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