Religion

Century United Church

In 1891, Mr. Charles Segsworth, a layman of the Mimico Methodist Church, became interested in providing a Sunday school for the children of the New Toronto community because he saw some boys playing in an open field on a Sunday afternoon.  Two years later, in March 1893, Rev. G.W. Brown, pastor of the Mimico Methodist Church held the first weeknight service in New Toronto at Reid’s Hall, and in February 1894, the first Sunday afternoon preaching service was held.  The church later moved to the office of a lumber firm next to a house on Sixth Street, and then to its own church home in 1909. 

On May 15th, 1909, the cornerstone of a new Methodist church was being laid.  The May 15th, 1909 edition of the Toronto Daily Star reports:

"The corner-stone of a new Methodist church, in New Toronto was laid this afternoon, J.R.L. Starr, K.C., handling the trowel.  The service in connection with the ceremony was conducted by Rev. Jos. E. Wilson, pastor of the church, a number of Toronto ministers being present, including Rev. Dr. German, chairman of the Toronto West district; Rev. Dr. Ilincks, and Rev. J.D. Fitzpatrick.  The building, while not a large one, will be of artistic design, constructed of brick and stone, and have a seating capacity of nearly 250, with a large basement fitted up for Sunday school purposes.  The new church is on the corner of Birmingham Avenue and Fifth Street. "

New Toronto Methodist was part of the Mimico circuit until 1915, when it became a separate charge supplied by students.  Rev. J.A. Walker was a student pastor at the church from 1916 to 1919.  He then left to go to China as a missionary, and the June 4, 1925 edition of The Advertiser reports that they were hoping for his return from China for the opening ceremonies of the new Century United Church on Ninth Street.  The same article portrays how significant the new church on Ninth Street was to Toronto:

 

NEW TORONTO TO HAVE THE FIRST UNITED CHURCH DEDICATION

“During the past seven months there has been quietly growing up on Ninth Street, New Toronto’s new church building that for attractiveness and convenience will not be excelled by any other church of its size in or around Toronto.  Although it was not foreseen by those who first planned it, it is to have the distinction of being the first new church in the whole dominion dedicated by the United Church of Canada.  The opening ceremony has been fixed for June 29th.”

The building on Sixth Street became a jam factory for while, and today is an Islamic mosque.  The building on Ninth Street is now and Israeli mosque.  

 

 

St. Margaret’s Anglican Church

In 1911, St. Margaret's Anglican Church was completed on Sixth Street and still stands today. The cornerstone of the church was laid on June 10th, 1910, on St. Margaret’s Day. Like Fifth Street School (see the section on Education), the first Anglican church services were held in a building owned by the Independent Order of Foresters called Hunt’s Hall at 220 Sixth Street. Below are some extracted pages from the pamphlet that details the church history:

   Link to St. Margaret’s Golden Jubilee Pamphlet

 

St. Teresa’s Catholic Church

St. Teresa’s parish was established in September 1924 by the late Archbishop Neil NcNeil and Father A. T. Clancy was appointed parish priest.  Services were held first in Century Hall on Sixth St.  Construction on the church on 10th St. commenced in the autumn of 1924 and the church was used for sacred service for the first time on Sunday, March 15th, 1925, when Archbishop McNeil blessed the new edifice.  Until 1934 priests from St. Michael’s College assisted Father Clancy, but then he received an assistant, Rev. T.J. McCabe, who later went to Orangeville; succeeded in turn by Rev. V.L. Baker who left in October 1936, and was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Marchildon.  In the summer of 1936, a very successful vacation school was held under the supervision of three Sisters of St. Joseph’s convent and 140 children attended.   

                     

The adjoining Separate School was built in June 1957 and was enlarged in the early 60’s.  Rev. M.J. Carroll was the pastor in 1963, assisted by Rev. P. Doherty and Rev. P. Switalski.  Rev. Carroll came to the parish in 1938. 

The picture on the far left is from the 1951 Souvenir booklet of New Toronto, while the second picture is from the 1963 Golden Juliblee booklet of New Toronto and New Toronto Hydro.