Saturday, July 9, 2016

inSPIREd Sunday

July 2016 - Toronto ON

You may be interested in this Toronto church conversion condo for sale.

I thought I had featured St. James Cathedral from the outside before but can't find any mention of it.

I did mention it a couple of weeks ago in a post about Little Trinity Church. Little Trinity was established because people didn't want to pay the high pew prices at St. James a couple of blocks away.

I was very lucky this day as the church was open. This is a rarity in Toronto.


The Anglican parish of St. James was established in 1797 in the then-town of York. In 1807, the first church was built of wood. It was used in 1813 during the War of 1812 as a hospital and subsequently robbed and damaged by the American troops. Shortly after, in 1818, the church was enlarged and a bell tower addition was completed. The bell was used as a fire bell for the town. In 1833, the wooden structure was taken down and replaced by a stone structure in the Neoclassical style. In January 1839, the church burned down and was reconstructed. Upon reopening in December 1839, the church became a Cathedral.St. James Cemetery, the parish cemetery, was moved in the 1840s to St. James-the-Less at Parliament and Bloor, although there are still unmarked graves under the modern parking lot.

In 1849, the Cathedral was destroyed in the first Great Fire of Toronto.

Frederick William Cumberland and Thomas Ridout's Gothic Revival design placed first. Construction began on July 1, 1850, and the Ohio stone and brick Cathedral was opened to the public in 1853. The church's original organ was built in 1853 by Samuel Russell Warren.

However, it would not be until 1873-1874 when the tower and spire, the transepts, and the pinnacles and finials were completed by architect Henry Langley. The spire was the tallest structure in Canada upon completion and would remain so for another 25 years until the construction of Toronto's old city hall. The tower's clock was installed one year later. In 1889, side galleries and aisles were removed, and the choir stalls and organ console were installed in the chancel.

Upon his death in 1867, John Strachan, Toronto's first Anglican bishop, was buried in a vault beneath the High Altar. Dean Henry James Grasett (1808–1882) was also buried here.

St James dominated the social life of Toronto in the late 19th century, with its canopied pew for the governor general at the front of the nave. Bishop Strachan is buried in the chancel. There is a stained glass window made by Tiffany & Co of New York dedicated to William Jarvis. An earlier Jarvis, Samuel, was involved in a duel on 12 July 1817, in which he killed John Ridout. The latter's gravestone was removed from the old cemetery and now sits on the wall of the south porch.

West Porch - stained glass by Stuart Reid depicting the calling of St. James the Apostle.

Very modern Station of the Cross signs. 10th - Jesus is stripped of his clothes.

The Eagle lecttern - the eagle is a symbol of St. John.


Photos from the St. George's Chapel.

Later in the week we had a meeting on the 53 floor and I got this picture looking down on the church. You can see by the brown grass that we really need some rain!


  1. Jackie, this is mighty impressive!

  2. How wonderful to see inside - and to see so many familiar names!

  3. The church has a very interesting decor while unique stained glass windows.
    Greetings from distant Polish.

  4. That was a worth while visit, what a great church, so much to see

  5. Exquisitely beautiful. Eagle lecterns seem to turn up elsewhere... I think the post I've got for tomorrow has one.


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