Toronto Feature: St James' Anglican Cathedral

This text is from the free Toronto in Time app, which was created by The Canadian Encyclopedia and is available from the App Store and the Google Play store. Visit its companion website, which is linked below, to explore all the features of the app online.

Royal Visit to St James
St James has been the centre of Anglicanism in Toronto for more than 200 years. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited the church on 4 July 2010 (photo by John Stillwell, Getty Images).
St James Cathedral
The St James spire\u0097the highest in Canada\u0097was designed by William Storm and built in 1865-70 (photo \u00a9 2012 by James Marsh).
St James Cathedral, 1867
St James Cathedral without its spire for it was not completed until 1875 (public domain).

Toronto Feature: St James' Anglican Cathedral

"Setting the Standard for Churches in Toronto"

This text is from the free Toronto in Time app, which was created by The Canadian Encyclopedia and is available from the App Store and the Google Play store. Visit its companion website, which is linked below, to explore all the features of the app online.

Toronto "The Good" had more churches per capita than any other city in the world in the 19th century. St. James Anglican dominated the social life of TORONTO in that period, and it set the standard for its Roman Catholic and Methodist rivals nearby.

ST JAMES' ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL is the oldest of the great cathedrals in downtown Toronto. It is the fourth Anglican Church on this site, dating back to the first wooden church built in 1807. That church was used as a hospital during the WAR OF 1812 and was damaged and robbed by American soldiers. In 1833, the wooden church was taken down and a Neo-classical stone church was built. It burned down in 1839 and was rebuilt as a cathedral, which was destroyed by fire in 1849. The present Gothic Revival building was then constructed, though its spire--the highest in Canada and second highest in North America--was not completed until 1875.

St. James Cathedral
St. James Cathedral in Toronto, a Victorian era Anglican church.
Inside St. James Cathedral in Toronto.
This church is the home of the oldest congregation in the city. The parish was established in 1797. It is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture.

If you were an Anglican in Toronto, this was the premier parish. Here the venerable Bishop John STRACHAN held court. The Royal family has worshipped here, as have LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORS. The memorial plaques on its walls remember parishioners who were the who's who of the city, and in many cases, of the country.

Best of all, perhaps, the beautiful stained glass windows tell the story of the development of the English Christian church, ending with Strachan holding a model of St. James Cathedral.


Download Toronto in Time