Toronto Through My Lens

Jarvis Street Baptist Church

The Jarvis Street Baptist Church is located at 130 Jarvis Street, on the northeast corner of Jarvis Street and Gerrard Street East.

The Church has its origins in a small group of people who first gathered in October of 1818, in what was then York, Upper Canada. By 1832, the congregation had moved to Lombard Street, and by 1848, to Bond Street. In the late 1860s, church membership was such that a new, larger building was needed.

In 1875, the church moved to the current location at the intersection of Jarvis and Gerrard Streets. A fire in 1938 destroyed much of the church building. At this point, a rebuilding was accompanied by an expansion of the Sunday school and offices.

The Jarvis Street Baptist Church was designed in the Gothic Revival style by the architectural firm of Henry Langley and Edmund Burke who served for many years at Jarvis Street Baptist Church as a Sunday-school teacher, chair of the choir committee, and deacon.

It was one of the first churches in Canada to be built with an amphitheatre-shaped interior. The ground floor seating is grouped in a semicircle, while the gallery above is horseshoe shaped. The gallery is supported by iron columns. Above the gallery, another set of columns support a faux-Gothic ceiling.

The church has been protected under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act since 1999.

The main facade of the building is made from brown stone obtained from the regions of Queenstown. The stone is laid unevenly with a pattern that varies in different shades of browns and dark yellows. The material used for the roof is Canadian slate.

The roof is constructed from a series of pitched segments centrally connected by a horizontally sliced dome. There are eight entrances, each consisting of solid oak double doors framed with pointed sandstone arches.

References: Jarvis Street Baptist Church website

2 Comments

  1. David

    Very nice. I like the amphitheatre style of seating and the ceiling is very attractive.

  2. Bob K

    Ceiling is gorgeous. Thanks for the memories.

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