Diocese of Toronto | Anglican Church of Canada

History

The Cathedral has been designated as an Ontario Heritage Property by the Ministry of Culture and has also been designated as a heritage site by Heritage Toronto.

The Cathedral is open:

  • Monday – Friday, from 7:30am-5:30pm
  • Saturdays from 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Sundays from 8:00am – 5:30pm

Visitors are most welcome to come and experience the Cathedral during open hours. We do ask that guests enjoy the Cathedral in a quiet manner, since it is frequently in use for services or personal prayer. To arrange for a group tour, please contact Cathedral Archivist Nancy Mallett.

A Brief History

  • 1793 – Town of York established, first Anglican service
  • 1797- Congregation worships in government buildings until wooden church built
  • 1807 – First “Church at York” built of wood with the help of the garrison
  • 1813 – Church used as hospital during War of 1812; damaged and robbed by American troops
  • 1818 – Church enlarged and bell tower added. Used as fire bell for the town
  • 1828 – Church dedicated to St. James the Apostle
  • 1833 – Wooden church taken down. Neo-classical stone church built.
  • 1834 – Town of York becomes the City of Toronto
  • 1839 – January: church burns; August: The Reverend John Strachan consecrated first Bishop of Toronto; December: St. James Church becomes a cathedral
  • 1844 – Sixty-five acres by the Don River purchased for cemetery
  • 1849 – Fire destroys Cathedral
  • 1853 – New Gothic Revival Cathedral opens for services on original site
  • 1865 – Bells installed
  • 1875 – Spire completed
  • 1876 – Clock donated by citizens of Toronto
  • 1889 – Side galleries and aisle benches removed, choir stalls and organ console installed in chancel
  • 1910 – Parish House opened
  • 1936 – St. George’s Chapel dedicated, organ overhauled by Casavant Freres
  • 1953 – New vestry added, sacristy refitted
  • 1959 – Parish House renovated, Diocesan Centre built
  • 1982 – Major renovation of the Cathedral completed
  • 1997 – Bicentenary celebrated, peal of 12 change-ringing bells installed
  • 2012 – Completion of the Cathedral Centre (formerly Parish House) renovation of office and meeting space

The Cathedral Church of St James

65 Church St., Toronto, ON M5C 2E9 | (416)364-7865 | info@stjamescathedral.ca

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