May 2014 - Toronto ON
As with many of the downtown Toronto churches, Bloor United is today noted for its progressivism. Three Bloor Street ministers have become Moderator of the United Church of Canada, George C. Pidgeon, Ernest M. Howse, and Bruce McLeod. Robert Baird McClure was also Moderator 1968–1971 and a member of this congregation though a layman and not its minister. The affirming congregation is currently led by the Reverend Martha Ter Kuile. The church has a large choir and a strong music program led by David Passmore. The congregation has a strong commitment to helping refugees, and has a program devoted to helping Latin American refugees become permanent members of Canadian society. In addition, there are groups dedicated to helping grandmothers caring for AIDS orphans in Africa.
The church began as a Presbyterian congregation in 1887 to serve the rapidly growing population of then-northern Toronto with the church building opening in 1890. In 1924, the church voted by a substantial majority to join the United Church. Three years later, a portion of the church was demolished when the City decided to widen Bloor Street.
The church grew greatly in size in the 1940s and 1950s as an influx of immigrants arrived in the area.