Toronto Through My Lens

The Church of the Redeemer

The Church of the Redeemer, at 162 Bloor Street West, sits at the very busy intersection of Bloor Street West and Avenue Road. This Anglican Church was founded in 1871 and opened its doors at this site on June 15, 1879. At that time the area was still on the fringe of the city (hard to imagine now…). The Church’s architectural style is Gothic Revival.

The Church of the Redeemer is known for its progressive stance on social issues, especially gay rights. In 1998, the congregation published An Honourable Estate: Same Sex Unions and the Church, advocating the blessing of same-sex unions. The parish uses exclusively the Book of Alternative Services.

From time to time the church also hosts a range of musical events and concerts. I remember seeing singer-songwriter Gary Jules here several years ago and thinking what a cool venue it was for a concert.

I love the stately and dignified architecture of this building. The condos/offices behind the Church wrap around the building, hugging it; a great contrast of old and new.

“The walls were covered with rubble stone from the Credit Valley, near Georgetown. The term rubble stone means that the stones were the rubble that remained after stones were cut in the quarry. They were irregular in shape and their sizes varied. However, though rough in texture and inexpensive, they created a pleasing effect when assembled on the church walls. Ohio sandstone was imported for the stone ornamentation and the trim around the windows of the church. The interior walls were of white and red bricks, enhanced by including geometric patterns. The support columns in the interior were constructed of polished granite from the Bay of Fundy area.”1

The Church underwent major renovations in the 1980s. At that time the parish hall on the north side of the Church was sold; because of this the Church lacked sufficient space for offices and meetings. The problem was solved by raising a section of the floor of the Church to expand the basement level. Pews were removed from the raised section at the rear of the nave and replaced with chairs, as you see here:

1Doug Taylor’s website: Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto’s History

1 Comment

  1. David

    I worked across the street from this church and unfortunately never went in. My loss for sure.

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