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St James Anglican Cathedral, Toronto

(120+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the home of the oldest congregation in the city. The parish was established in 1797. The Cathedral, with construction beginning in 1850 and opening for services on June 19, 1853, was one of the largest buildings in the city at the time. It was designed by Frederick William Cumberland and is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture.The church is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and is the episcopal seat of the Anglican Church of Canada's Diocese of Toronto.Royal St. George's College, on Howland Avenue, is the church's choir school and is open to boys in grades 3 through 12.HistoryThe Anglican parish of St. James was established in 1797 in the then-town of York. In 1807, the first church was built of wood. It was used in 1813 during the War of 1812 as a hospital and subsequently robbed and damaged by the American troops. Shortly after, in 1818, the church was enlarged and a bell tower addition was completed. The bell was used as a fire bell for the town. In 1833, the wooden structure was taken down and replaced by a stone structure in the Neoclassical style. In January 1839, the church burned down and was reconstructed. Upon reopening in December 1839, the church became a Cathedral. St. James Cemetery, the parish cemetery, was moved in the 1840s to St. James-the-Less at Parliament and Bloor, although there are still unmarked graves under the modern parking lot.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The architecture is exquisite and definitely one of the most beautiful churches in Toronto. Views from any given point are amazing!  more »
  • One of the oldest churches in Toronto. Right in the heart of Toronto. They recently renovated. Can't miss it. Close to St lawrence. A great part of a city walk.  more »
  • Right next to St James Park and walking distant from St Lawrence market (and the Flatiron building). If you are doing the Toronto Parks Trail walking tour you won't miss this place...  more »
Google
  • I have lived kitty-corner to this cathedral for 5+ years now and my only regret is that the bells no longer wake me up on a weekend morning as I am now too comfortable hearing them. The bells are unique and have a very distinct ring that anyone visiting must hear; if only for the hour toll. Check w/ the website for times when they play a complete concert as it is well worth the experience of sitting in the park with your thoughts while you listen and meditate. Look for the bench that Laura Robert loved.
  • Nice church surrounded by a beautiful park. If you're in the area , its worth visiting, even if you're not christian.
  • A beautiful gothic church surrounded by its neighbours of glass and steel, a quiet place to sit and think, sometimes there's choral music drifting out from the church
  • Lovely, inclusive, and non judgemental, so far, amazing music, art, memorials, and people. Much better than St. Micheal's, I found to be judgemental and aggressive. What joy the other church took from telling how and where to pray, St. James gave back thrice, in inclusion and joy.
  • A wonderfully multi-cultural congregation with service music as sublime as in any Anglican church in the world (and preaching better than most, as well).