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Visiting the historic Parish church of St Peter, Erindale, Mississauga, Ontario: dating from 1825

Updated on November 27, 2012
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
St Peter's Parish church and cemetery, Erindale, Mississauga
St Peter's Parish church and cemetery, Erindale, Mississauga | Source
Historical plaque, St Peter's parish church, Erindale, Mississauga
Historical plaque, St Peter's parish church, Erindale, Mississauga | Source
Map location of Mississauga, Ontario
Map location of Mississauga, Ontario | Source

Names and stones and leaves and many memories

St Peter's Anglican parish church, Erindale, Mississauga, was established in 1825. Features of the building, dating from 1887, include many Gothic arched windows, and a strongly buttressed tower with a tall spire.

Long-serving Minister James McGrath (1769-1851) was associated with St Peter's Parish Church almost since its inception. He came to Upper Canada (1) under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He also served with the Toronto Mission on the Credit River (2). The building with which this minister would have been familiar was a white, frame church; he thus predeceased the building of the existing building.

The churchyard of St Peter's Parish Church includes the McGrath family burial plot. An historical plaque sponsored by the Ontario Heritage Foundation is located near the entrance to the building; from the wording on the plaque it is clear that Mr McGrath regarded himself as a 'colonial missionary'.

The Mississauga suburb of Erindale actually carries the name of Mr McGrath's residence (3). ('Erin' is an old name for the Ireland of his birth; and the nearby Credit River is indeed in a small valley or dale.)

My visit here coincided with the Fall, and this leafy, secluded site combined with glorious colours to accentuate the impressions left by this memorable, historic site.

Mississauga is in Ontario's Peel region; St Peter's Anglican Parish Church is located close to the junction of Dundas Road West and Mississauga Road, Mississauga.


(1) The Upper Canada of colonial times subsequently became known as Canada West, and, after Confederation, Ontario.

(2) Interestingly, the word 'Toronto' in the name of this ministry, 'Toronto Mission on the Credit River', is indicative of the fact that in one way or another the concept of 'Toronto' referred formerly to a much larger area than in now the case. Indeed, when at Confederation, the need arose for a different term to replace 'Canada West', which became a province of the new Dominion of Canada, the name 'Toronto' was one of the options considered, until preference was given to adopting the name of the Great Lake to which the province's heartland lies adjacent.

(3) A building of the nearby University of Toronto - Mississauga also carried the name 'McGrath'.

Also worth seeing

In Erindale, Mississauga itself, other attractions include: the former Rectory of St Peter's Church at 1556 Dundas Street West; the former Springfield Methodist Church, now Erindale Presbyterian Church; Glen Erin Hall Gatehouse ruins at Ivor Woodlands; the Sawmill Valley Trail, and many others.


How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to the junction between Dundas Street West and Mississauga Road, Mississauga : 22.9 kilometres). A GO Train service operative between Toronto Union and Erindale GO Train stations (distance from Erindale GO Train station at 1320 Rathburn Road West and the junction between Dundas Street West and Mississauga Road: 4.7 kilometres). Local bus routes include 1C, 44, 101 and 110. Please check with the airline, your travel agent, or transportation company for relevant up to date information.

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

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