Saturday, August 5, 2017

inSPIREd Sunday

Sally and Beth host inSPIREd Sunday!

July 2017 - Toronto ON

I hadn't planned on visiting this church but was pleased to see the doors were open as I walked by.  It is open Monday to Friday from noon to 3 PM.

There are three churches in this area.
St. Michael's Cathedral Catholic
Metropolitan United Church - outside
St. James Anglican Cathedral - I covered this church before but got some different photos this time.

St James' Anglican Cathedral is located at 65 Church Street (at King). There have been four Anglican churches on this site.

Church Street is named for this town's first church, at the corner of King since 1807: St James' (or, as some have it, St James's). This small temple of wood set in woods, oriented east-west and later painted blue, was Church of England but not state established. They paid good money for pews: one gent got his at auction for 35 pounds, his heirs holding it for two pounds rent per a year.

The first outside shot was taken last year as I entered by the side door this time.

The tower--the highest church tower in Canada and second highest in North America next to New York's St Patrick's--was not completed until 1875. This tower today holds a peal of 12 bells unique in all of North America.

Torontonians will recognize many of the family names listed below as streets around Toronto. Simcoe, Strachan, Jarvis to name a few.

In 1793, when Sir John Graves Simcoe established the Town of York, the first Anglican service was held here, attended by the Queen's Rangers stationed at Fort York. The first wooden church was built in 1807 with the help of the garrison. The church was used as a hospital during the War of 1812 and was damaged and robbed by American soldiers. In 1828, it was dedicated to St James the Apostle.

In 1831, the wooden church was replaced with a larger stone structure, which opened in 1832, but burned down in 1839. St James' church was made a cathedral in 1839 when the Reverend John Strachan became the first Bishop of Toronto. In April 1849, St James' Cathedral was completely destroyed by fire, the second time in just ten years.

12″ x 12″ – RaKu fired ceramic – 2014
This is the permanent mounting of the fourteen (14) stations of the Cross. They were mounted at eye level so that that the viewer would have a closer connection with the expressions.

This window may be the work of Tiffany disciples Calvert & Kimberly of New York.

The accompanying plaque informs that the window is dedicated to the memory of William Jarvis, his grandson, William Dummer Powell Jarvis, and the latter’s widow, Diana.

The organ has 5000 pipes and includes the original gallery organ from 1853 over the main south entrance at the rear of the cathedral. Trumpet pipes have since been added to the gallery organ. The front chancel and aisle pipes were added in 1916.

Dr. John Strachan, Toronto’s first bishop, appointed in 1839, was buried under the chancel in 1867. Today, the brass plaque over his resting place reflects the light from the chancel windows. When the churchyard beside the church was closed, gravestones in the cemetery were cemented into the walls of the entranceway. Included is the stone of John Ridout, who died in the last pistol duel fought in the town of York, fought near Yonge and Grosvenor on July 12, 1817. Another interesting stone cemented into the entranceway is that of 27-year-old William Butcher of Walpole in Sussex. On October 31, 1839, he fell from a height of seventy feet, while labouring on the spire of the tower of the church that was on the site before the fire that occurred later in the year in which he perished. Today, in the interior of St. James are many commemorative brass plaques, including one to Col. Sir Casimir Gzowski (1818-98), aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria. It is on the east wall of the nave, and was donated by officers of the Toronto Garrison.

Close-up view of the windows in the St. George’s Chapel, depicting King George V and Queen Mary.

This staircase leads to the bells in the tower.

The high altar, above which rises the Ascension of Christ. The window is the work of Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc., a popular provider of stained glass to this city during the Victorian fashion to replace plain cathedral glass with prophets and parables and evangelists. The Mayer company, family owned and founded in the mid-1800s, is still in business today. According to Shirley Ann Brown’s pamphlet The Windows of St. James, the ascension window was unveiled in 1885 in memory of rector Henry James Grasett and cost the congregation $2,780.


  1. ...the beauty of the outside is only the beginning!

  2. Wow!
    Wonderful stained glass window. I'm delighted.

  3. gorgeous. my fave part is the stair case... always said as a kid i would have on in my house ... so fun. ( ;

  4. It's so nice to see your photos of the inside of this iconic church!

  5. Superb love that stained glass & organ


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