Visiting Olde Davenport Church, Toronto, Ontario: dating originally from 1818
Nearly two centuries of history
With its beginnings in a log cabin, the original congregation was formed in 1818, to a considerable extent on the initiative of Batholomew Bull. Davenport-Perth Community Church is thus the second oldest Protestant church in Toronto (after St. James's church).
Some history and features
Over the years, the alignment of the congregation has developed. Davenport Methodist Church became Olde Davenport United Church: having been a Methodist church, the amalgamation of many Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Canada in the early 20th century brought about the establishment of the United Church, with which this congregation at 1900 Davenport Road was thus affiliated.
In 1970 the congregation merged with Perth United Church to form what was subsequently called Davenport-Perth United Church.
The frontage of the existing building dates from the year 1900 (1) and, executed mainly in red brick, is in Neo-Gothic and Romanesque styles, for which the architect James A. Ellis was responsible. Some of the building's surviving walling has been in existence since the late 19th century. The church has retained its own burial ground on the site.
An historical plaque fastened to the building's main frontage is worded as follows:
"Old Davenport Church
A meeting place since 1818
'The word of the Lord standeth forever' "
The last part of this wording is a quotation from Isaiah 40.8.
The suburb of West Toronto in which Old Davenport Church is situated is sometimes known as Carleton Village.
(1) Interestingly, the number 1900 refers both to the year from which the striking, asymmetrical, towered frontage dates, and also to the road number of the building's address on Davenport Road.
Also worth seeing
In Toronto itself, other historical church buildings include the Metropolitan United Church, St James's and St. Michael's Cathedrals; 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. However, visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many sights to be easily walkable. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice.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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