Former St Peter’s History
For over 20 years the congregation and the wardens made several excellent attempts to finance and renovate their beautiful historic St. Peter’s Church, Carlton Street. None succeeded.
The original church land was given to the parishioners in 1853 by two farmers, with the provision to use the land as needed to protect the continuation of the church. That was the original deed which changed in the 1980’s when the Toronto Diocese took co-ownership of all church lands.
In the late 1800’s St. Peter’s was a refuge for the Underground Railroad. There is a rich history of Toronto soldiers and veterans from WW1 and WW11. It was a meeting place of diversity of farmers, city dwellers, the needy and the wealthy, where coal and potatoes were given out during the Depression. The beautiful wood furniture, electric lights and stained glass windows and Cassavant organ were donated by founding families such as Pellat, Gooderham, Brown, Midgley, Davis, Darby, Cosby, Leacock, Allen and Body. It once had a working rectory and a sexton’s house. The attached bell tower has been rung by hand for over 100 years.
Such a strong faith of brave, believing people sent out 11 missionaries beginning in 1892 to the Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia as well as Japan, China, Persia and India. An incredible history of outreach to the Christian community and the world! Recent outreach included the Food Bank and refugee sponsorships, Doors Open and Sunday school.
St. Peter’s sits on a vital piece of land on the corner of Bleecker Street and Carlton; a perfect L-shaped property for a specialty condo, $4.5 million having been once offered. Nevertheless, the congregation was told to amalgamate and so now are part of St. Peter’s and St. Simon’s Anglican Church. Sadly, St. Peter’s church was deconsecrated and is now rented to Dixon Hall and others.
Many cherished objects were transported such as the Baptismal Font, the original wooden chairs, 2 altars and several brass and linen fittings for the Sacristy. Most of the wall plaques and the large cross have found a new home in the chapel or the church. It is heartening to know the 2 congregations of St. Peter’s and St. Simons continue to worship together. Faith is portable and the love of God is present wherever the faithful are gathered together.