Deer Park United Church

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Deer Park United Church
Deer Park United.jpg
129 St. Clair Avenue West in 2005
Location Toronto, Ontario
Country Canada
Denomination United Church of Canada
Previous denomination 1881 as Presbyterian Mission
Status De-sanctified
Functional status Vacant
Architectural type Norman-Gothic

Deer Park United Church is the name of a United Church of Canada congregation, and also the name of this congregation's former church building at 129 St. Clair Avenue West in the Deer Park area of Toronto, Ontario. It was one of two United Church of Canada buildings in the area and along St. Clair Avenue, the other being Timothy Eaton Memorial Church (originally Methodist).

Early history[edit]

The congregation began in 1881 as Deer Park Presbyterian Mission. Their first church building was constructed on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue, now home to an office tower containing several radio stations, including CFRB, 99.9 Mix FM and 97.3 EZ Rock. In 1913, a new church building was erected for the congregation at 129 St. Clair Avenue West.

The first missionary was the Rev. George Edwin Freeman. His granddaughter, Lois Wilson, is a former United Church Moderator and former Canadian Senator (1998-2002).

In 1925, this congregation voted to join the newly formed United Church of Canada. The 370 members who voted to remain Presbyterian withdrew and formed Calvin Church.

Recent history[edit]

In 2006, the Deer Park congregation celebrated its 125th anniversary. The next year, the congregation was told that the owners of the Imperial Oil Building next door would no longer supply building heat after July 2008. Due to the financial inability to maintain the large aging building, the Deer Park congregation de-sanctified the building at 129 St. Clair West in June 2008.

The building was sold to a developer, who in 2012 got the City of Toronto's approval for a condominium apartment tower replacing most, but not all, of the church building.[1] It remained vacant at that time. The developer subsequently sold a majority interest in the property to Camrost-Felcorp, the redeveloper of the Imperial Oil Building. The development plan is to integrate part of the church building into the site of a new condominium tower (named "Blue Diamond") designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects.[2]

The Deer Park United congregation was welcomed by the Calvin Presbyterian Church congregation into a shared ecumenical worship. Currently, the two congregations are developing the legal and logistical framework for continuing shared ecumenical ministries. The worship services contain common elements and also elements unique to the United Church of Canada and Presbyterian traditions. Both the Deer Park and Calvin congregations are members of the Churches on the Hill group.

The current address of the Deer Park United Church congregation is 26 Delisle Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.[3] The congregation's minister is the Rev. Dr. Deborah Hart.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Deer Park United Church at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 43°41′11″N 79°24′01″W / 43.68648°N 79.400194°W / 43.68648; -79.400194