Avenue Road Church

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Avenue Road Church, now a Hare Krishna temple
Hare Krishna, Toronto.JPG
LocationAvenue Road, Toronto, Ontario
DenominationUnited Church of Canada
Previous denominationPresbyterian, United Church of Canada, Church of the Nazarene
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Gordon & Helliwell
Architectural typeNorman-Gothic

The Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, subsequently Avenue Road Presbyterian Church, the Avenue Road United Church and later Church of the Nazarene, was a church located on Avenue Road on the northeastern corner of Roxborough Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Built in 1899 and designed by Gordon & Helliwell, the building was originally the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.[1] It was renamed Avenue Road Presbyterian Church in 1902. The Presbyterian congregation joined the United Church of Canada in 1925, becoming the Avenue Road United Church.[1]

The church was vacant for several years until Charles Templeton took possession of the church as preacher in 1941.[1] Templeton founded the church as an independent congregation. Templeton and his wife decided to rent the empty building for $100 a month, even without a congregation.[2] Under his leadership, the new independent congregation grew until Templeton went into debt to pay for the construction of a balcony to accommodate their larger numbers. It was soon after the balcony was completed that the structure was severely damaged by fire, in 1944.[2] The building was repaired through donations from supporters across Canada and the United States. The church later became associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, after becoming the Church of the Nazarene.

In the mid-1970s, the growing congregation left the downtown area to found the Bayview Glen Church in Thornhill, Ontario. During the congregation's move, there was controversy[dubious ] surrounding the sale of the church building to a buyer who represented a Hare Krishna group[3]. After the demolition permit was denied, it has since become Canada's largest Hare Krishna place of worship.[4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Avenue Road Church". heritagetoronto.org. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Historicist: Blind Faith". Torontoist. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.thecanadianbazaar.com/migrating-to-Canada/how-we-fought-racism-in-1970s-to-start-torontos-first-ever-temple-hare-krishna/
  4. ^ Christopherson, Jeff; Lake, Mac (2015). Kingdom First: Starting Churches that Shape Movements. B&H Publishing Group. ISBN 9781433688836.

Coordinates: 43°40′37″N 79°23′50″W / 43.676951°N 79.397112°W / 43.676951; -79.397112