ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Knox Presbyterian Church, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario: Romanesque & Gothic Revivial by James Wilson Gray

Updated on January 20, 2015
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto
Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto | Source
George Brown
George Brown | Source
Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

A monumental building for a historic congregation

This imposing building in Toronto, Ontario dates from 1909. Known as Knox Presbyterian Church, its design is a combination of Romanesque Revival and Gothic Revival. Thus, here we see both pointed arches and flying buttresses but also pinnacles with cones, in representation of a blending of these styles. The building's designer was James Wilson Gray.

This building replaced a previous structure at Queen Street West, between Yonge and Bay Streets, which burned down in 1895. This in turn had served as a replacement for a previous building, which itself had burned down in 1847.

Knox Presbyterian Church is located at 630 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.

Upper Canada / Canada West / 19th century Ontario was strongly influenced by trends and customs in Great Britain, not least in the religious scene. The history of Presbyterianism in Scotland is very complex, and many Presbyterians in the former Upper Canada and, subsequently Canada West, saw the need to emulate events and precedents through which Scottish Presbyterians lived. Accordingly, when the 1843 Disruption occurred in Scotland, led by Thomas Chalmers, there were Toronto Presbyterians also who wished for local Presbyterianism to reflect these distinct elements. Thus it was that the congregation now known as Knox Presbyterian Church identified with the Free Church of Scotland, rather than the established Church of Scotland (1).

Some readers may recall from the hubpage on College Street United Church (formerly Presbyterian), Toronto, that at this building in 1925 an assembly met there resolved to unite Presbyterians and Methodists, and others. Historian Desmond Morton refers to 'a sturdy core of Presbyterians' who did not join the new institution (2). Indeed, in June 1925, a Presbyterian group representative of this 'sturdy core' performed a midnight vigil at Knox Presbyterian Church. The congregation subsequently received an influx from non-merging Presbyterians in the city.

The congregation is named for 16th century Scottish Reformer John Knox, for whom the former Knox Presbyterian College, now part of the University of Toronto, at nearby Spadina Circle, is also named.

Noted personalities associated with the congregation: these included George Brown (1818-1880), proprietor of the Toronto Globe and prominent Liberal, briefly Premier of Canada West and referred to as a Father of Confederation.

Thus the structure is an imposing building for an historic congregation in one of Downtown Toronto's central arteries, close to the University area.

February 18, 2013

Notes

(1) It may be pointed out that, while the Free Church of Scotland wished to be separate from the established Church of Scotland, it avowedly did not repudiate the establishment principle. In Canada, with no established church, this distinction became increasingly moot. Interestingly, though, Knox Presbyterian Church's congregant George Brown (see above) partly made his mark locally by arguing for the separation of church and state; one is moved to muse whether this may have been partly motivated because the established church in Upper Canada had been Anglican, rather than Presbyterian, as in Scotland.

(2) Desmond Morton, A Short History of Canada , Toronto, Ontario: McClelland & Stewart, 1997, p. 192

Also worth seeing

In Downtown Toronto itself, visitor attractions include: Old City Hall, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, the Ontario Legislative Assembly Building at Queen's Park, Fort York, Union Station, the CN Tower, and many others.

...

How to get there: Porter Airlines, flies to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, with wide North American connections. Car rental is available at Union Station. Air Canada flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available, but visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many sights to be easily walkable. TTC Streetcar 510 passes 630 Spadina Avenue, Toronto . Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, you are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources.

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

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)