Saturday, June 3, 2017

inSPIREd Sunday

May 2017 - Toronto ON

We saw this church during Doors Open last weekend. The archivist I spoke to seemed to think the name Norway was because there were a lot of Norwegian people living in the area at the time. But when I looked at the names of the first rectors they didn't strike me as Norwegian nor did most of the names on the graves in the cemetery. 


As we entered.


Wikipedia provided this information which seemed to make more sense.

St. John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church was founded in 1853. Despite the use of the name "Norway", neither the church nor the cemetery has any connection to the country of Norway or to Norwegian immigrants to Canada; both were established to serve the small community of Norway, Ontario, then a considerable distance from the city of Toronto. The town itself was named after the Norway pine trees native to the area and was amalgamated into Toronto in 1908.

Meetings first began in 1850 and, with the establishment of the parish in 1853, a small wooden schoolhouse was moved here and used as a church. The bell was installed and the church and cemetery consecrated by Bishop Strachan in 1855. Many United Empire Loyalists and other early settlers are buried here. St. John’s founded a number of parishes in East Toronto.

Distinctive features include some of Toronto’s finest McCausland stained glass windows.

Robert McCausland Limited is the oldest stained glass company in the Western Hemisphere. RML is also the longest, continuously owned family company in Canada. Founded in 1856 by Joseph McCausland, an Irish immigrant, the firm has survived five generations.

The Steinway grand piano, retired from Hamilton Place, is on long-term loan from Donald Horsburgh.

The Coat of Arms was found near the location of an old toll gate near Lee Avenue.

The Casavant organ with its three keyboard console was built in the late 1920s and is used to lead the music for worship.

Casavant Frères is a prominent organ building Canadian company in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, which has been building pipe organs since 1879.

I was told by of the guides that this window is based on The Sistine Madonna, one of Raphael's most famous works. The painting takes its name from the church of San Sisto in Piacenza and Raphael painted it as the altarpiece for that church in 1513-1514. The piece was purchased in 1754 by King Augustus III of Saxony for his collection in Dresden. In Germany the painting was very influential, sparking debate on the questions of art and religion.


Down in the basement there was more memorabilia.

Considering the many times we have driven by this church and cemetery we had no idea of the sheer size!

The land for the cemetery was donated by landowner Charles Coxwell Small. Originally three acres, the cemetery now covers about 35. Over the decades there have been almost 80,000 interments, and over 50,000 gravestones now stand in the cemetery. While attached to an Anglican church, the cemetery is non- denominational.

The cemetery is perched on a large sandy hill which was once one of the large dunes formed by Glacial Lake Iroquois. The sand from this hill was used extensively by the Toronto brickworks, and is thus found in many of the city's older buildings.

This girl was practicing.

Click here for a funny sign.


  1. ...the interior is gorgeous.

  2. What a gorgeous church, so lovely to be able to view inside #MySundayPhoto

  3. The stained glass is just beautiful. It is a lovely church #MySundayPhoto

  4. What a beautiful church and cemetery. Those stained glass windows are incredible.

  5. What gorgeous church and those glass mosaic inside is just wonderful to look at! #mysundayphoto


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