Methodist Rome

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Metropolitan Methodist Church (now the "Metropolitan United Church") played an important role in the city.[1]

Methodist Rome was a nickname sometimes given to the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The moniker implied that Toronto was as central to Canadian Methodism as Rome, or more specifically Vatican City in Rome, is to Catholicism.

During the 19th century Toronto had one of the largest (if not the largest) population of Methodists in the world. Methodism played a very important role in the culture and political affairs of Toronto, greatly shaping its character.[2] Toronto became known for being very puritanical with strict limits on the sale of alcohol and a rigorous enforcement of the Lord's Day Act. Peter C. Newman has described Toronto in this period "a sort of Calvinist Tehran."[3] The city was disparaged by outsiders as "Toronto the Good".[4]

Use of the name declined in the early twentieth century, especially after the Methodist Church in Canada merged with Presbyterians and Congregationalists to form the United Church of Canada in 1925. An influx of immigration from southern and eastern Europe after World War II greatly altered the religious balance. The Methodist heritage is still in evidence, though, as Toronto has some of the strictest liquor laws in North America.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The way we were in Toronto in 1892" Trish Worron. Toronto Star. Nov 1, 2002. pg. A.29
  2. ^ Emery, George (2001). The Methodist church on the Prairies, 1896-1914 ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). Montreal, Que.: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0773521836. 
  3. ^ "The way we were in Toronto in 1892" Trish Worron. Toronto Star. Nov 1, 2002. pg. A.29
  4. ^ Davidson, Hilary (2007). Frommer's Toronto 2007 (13 ed.). John Wiley and Sons. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-470-04852-8. It was still a city of churches worthy of the name "Toronto the Good," with a population of staunch religious conservatives, who barely voted for Sunday streetcar service in 1897, and, in 1912, banned tobogganing on Sunday.