ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting a consipicuous, Gothic building in Toronto, Ontario: stones and memories at Jarvis Street Baptist Church

Updated on July 22, 2015
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto
Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto | Source
T. T. Shields
T. T. Shields | Source
Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

At the pinnacle

This building in thoroughgoing Gothic style is situated at the intersection of Jarvis and Gerrard Streets in Downtown Toronto, Ontario. True to its style, the structure exhibits various of its associated features in abundance: pointed arches at windows and doorways, flying buttresses and pinnacles. Rounded window tracery is in keeping with the curves of the arches and its 9 metre copper spire completes the skyward thrust of its smaller pinnacles (1). The building is thus strongly evocative of the Victorian Era when Gothic Revival style was popular and is reflected in very many church building designs of the period.

The main entrance to the building is diagonal to the Jarvis and Gerrard Street elevations. The built environment around the intersection where the structure is situated has in the past decades undergone many demolitions of older buildings, and this process seems to continue, as remaining, older residential structures in the vicinity continue to be slated for removal and replacement with tower blocks on what is prime real estate a few minutes' walk from Yonge Street in Downtown Toronto. Various, well appointed hotels are to be found within a short walking distance from Jarvis Street Baptist Church, which thus stands in contrast to most other buildings in the immediate area: a Gothic island in a sea of eclectic, modern structures.

The current building, executed in brown Queenston stone, dates from 1875, although this deserves some qualification. The congregation which meets in it had its origins in 1818, what became Toronto was known as York in Upper Canada; and the current building was severely damaged by fire in 1938 and was considerably rebuilt. Its architects were Henry Langley (1836-1907)(2) and Edmund Burke (1850-1919). A mid-20th century extension was built in red brick. The interior of the building has a for its period unusual amphitheatre-shaped design.

While the building is always known as Jarvis Street Baptist Church, its official address is given as 130 Gerrard Street East.

Among the more well known ministers at Jarvis Street Baptist Church was T. T. Shields (1873-1955), who served at this congregation from 1910 until 1955. In the Biblical themes which Mr. Shields took up in his preaching, he was known for the eloquence of his rhetorical style (3).

Another individual with links to the congregation was Senator William McMaster (1811-1887), principal of McMaster University and co-founder of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, who substantially funded the present 1875 Jarvis Street building.

July 22, 2015

Notes

(1) The spire is superficially similar to, but much smaller than, that of St James's Cathedral, Toronto.

(2) Architect Langley was responsible for several Toronto church building designs and for the Province's Government House (completed 1870), residence of Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor.

(3) See for example a discussion of the ministry of T T Shields in: Iain Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith, Edinburgh / Carlisle, Pa.,: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990, p. 130. Born in England, T. T. Shields previously ministered successively at Florence, Dutton, Delhi, Hamilton and London - all in Ontario. Somewhat unusually for baptist ministers in North America, he was noted for a Reformed emphasis in his ministry, which may have been related to his background in England; he also maintained a widely circulated written ministry through a periodical which he edited, in which he gave trenchant commentary on the contemporary scene.


Some sourcing from Wikipedia.

Also worth seeing

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

How to get there

Porter Airlines flies to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and has 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 from Union Station. TTC streetcars 505 and 506 are convenient for Jarvis Street Baptist Church, as are the Carton and College stops of the Yonge-University subway. For up to date information about travel to Toronto, you are advised to 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.

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)