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Our History

St Peter and St. Simon’s Today

In 2016, two historic Anglican congregations, St. Simon the Apostle at 525 Bloor Street and St. Peter’s Carlton Street amalgamated to form a new parish in the Diocese of Toronto, the Church of St Peter and St-Simon-the-Apostle (SPSS). Coming along with the St. Peter’s congregation to worship now at SPSS was the Filipino congregation of San Lorenzo Ruiz.

Both churches had long histories of service in the heart of Toronto, the former church of St Peter’s as a community hub, the former church of St Simon’s known particularly for its choral music. In 1989, St. Simons opened its doors to the growing needs of the midtown community by starting a men’s shelter, the first Out of the Cold in Canada. The combined church of St. Peter and St. Simon-the-Apostle is blessed with renewed energy and an exciting future. Our church is in one of the most diverse and densely populated communities in the country. Situated at 525 Bloor Street, we are at the intersection of Rosedale, St Jamestown, the Church and Wellesley Village, and Cabbagetown.


Land for the original St. Peters Carlton Street was donated in 1853 by two farmers, with the provision to use the land as needed to protect the continuation of the church. This lasted until the 1980s when the original deed was changed and the Toronto Diocese took co-ownership of all church lands. Many stories involve St. Peter’s. In the mid 1800’s it was a refuge for the Underground Railroad for Afro American slaves fleeing north. There is a rich history of soldiers and veterans from WW1 and WW11. The church was a meeting place for a diversity of farmers, city dwellers, the needy and the wealthy. Coal and potatoes were given out during the Depression. Beautiful furniture, electric lights, stained glass windows and a Cassavant organ were donated by founding families Pellat, Gooderham, Brown, Midgley, Davis, Darby, Cosby, Leacock, Allen and Body. The parish had a working rectory and a sexton’s house. The attached bell tower was rung by hand for over 100 years.

Beginning in 1892 St Peters sent out eleven missionaries to such destinations as the Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Japan, China, Persia and India. An incredible history of outreach to the Christian community and the world!

In 2016 St. Peter’s church was deconsecrated and is now rented to the social services agency, Dixon Hall, and others.


St. Simon’s church was started in 1884 as a mission of St James Cathedral by The Rev’d Canon DuMoulin, to serve Church of England people in the North-east part of the City. For four years a small group of parishioners worshiped at the funerary chapel of St James-the-Less in St James Cemetery.

To learn more, click here to download a PDF of the St Simon’s history.

Click here to access a special video Honouring the Fallen from St Peter’s and St Simon-the-Apostle

To learn more about the Stain Glass windows in our church, read the detailed report here.