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Visiting Eastminster United — Formerly Danforth Methodist — Church, Toronto, Ontario: Solid, Gothic Monumentality

Updated on October 30, 2019
Flag of Ontario
Flag of Ontario | Source
Eastminster United Church, Toronto
Eastminster United Church, Toronto | Source

A East End of Toronto landmark — both physical and historical — that is hard to miss

[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of the hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest.]

Situated at 310 Danforth Avenue, in the East End of Toronto, Ontario, the building housing what is now Eastminster United Church (1) began as Danforth Methodist Church (2), begun in 1901 and enlarged after 1921 (3).

Executed in brick, with decorative elements of stone facing, the structure is a strong and monumental statement in Gothic style; within this style — evidenced by the presence of many flying buttresses and by pointed window arching — the flattened window arching and the somewhat squat and square dimensions of the lines of the building are arguably also suggestive of the influence of English Perpendicular style.

Subsequently, together with many other Methodist and Presbyterian churches in mainly English-speaking Canada, Danforth Methodist Church joined the nascent United Church of Canada in 1925; some Methodist and Presbyterian congregations chose to remain outside the new institution.

In 1966 Eastminster United Church amalgamated with North Broadview United (formerly Presbyterian) Church.

Interestingly also, in 1914, Donlands Methodist Church started as an offshoot of Danforth Methodist Church, which eventually became Eastside United Church. In 1983, Donlands Methodist Church amalgamated with Eastminster United Church, thus re-merging with its antecedent of more than 70 years in the past.

The area of Danforth Avenue where Danforth United Church is situated was formerly known as Chester Village; communications with the City of Toronto were greatly enhanced in 1919 by the construction of the Prince Edward Viaduct, over the Don River.

October 31, 2019


(1) I am inclined to believe that the word 'Eastminster' is a perceptive amalgam of a reference to Toronto's East End and to an adapted form of the word 'Westminster', a proper name strongly redolent of the Westminster Confession and of Presbyterianism generally. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the East End of Toronto was settled particularly by residents of British origin, among whom many from England were of a Methodist background, while many from Scotland had Presbyterian links. Thus the term 'Eastminster' is suggestive of significant historical awareness.

(2) This Methodist Congregation's origins were in a Methodist mission in Chester Village, which was active in the late 19th century; record show it was based in a structure made of wood. Thus, the monumental building which took form in the early 20th century marked a considerable transition from the former venue.

(3) See also:

Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

Also worth seeing

In Toronto itself, other historic church buildings include the Metropolitan United Church, St James's and St. Michael's Cathedrals; a very few of other noted buildings include: the Ontario Legislative Assembly Building, Queen's Park, Old City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, Old Fort York.


How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. 310 Danforth Avenue, Toronto is close to the Chester station of TTC Subway Route 2, Bloor-Danforth Line. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, please refer to appropriate consular sources.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


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