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Back to the Future

We are the recipients of a rich heritage and legacy which we must steward into an even brighter future.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” - Phi. 1:6



The Rev. Alexander Sanson, Rector of St. John’s Church York Mills, believed the time had come to establish a church in the city of York, halfway between north to south. He commissioned architect John G. Howard to begin designing the “little church up Yonge Street.”



St. Paul’s opened its doors on June 12, 1842 and the Rev. Charles Matthews preached a sermon to a congregation of 100 people. The original building was constructed out of wood and was only 30 by 40 feet.



St. Paul’s begins to garner a reputation for being welcoming and egalitarian, drawing more people to its already growing community. Construction began on a new stone church with a capacity for a bigger congregation.



The first service was held in the new church on December 9.



The Rev. Canon Henry John Cody, who first came to St. Paul’s as a student, is appointed Rector. At St. Paul’s, Henry Cody’s skill as an orator drew even more members to the church, and the congregation grew.

“St. Paul’s is both historic and modern. It is Toronto in miniature in the year 1907. There the same people go to church who make Toronto a business centre, a university centre, a legal, educational, banking and manufacturing city of home loving, moderate, prosperous useful people. Speak of the work at St. Paul’s and you come very near to the best that can be said of the average Toronto citizen.” – Press Release, 1907



St. Paul’s became the regimental church for Queens Own Rifles of Canada, a regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces. Outside of St. Paul’s stands the Cross of Sacrifice, built after the First World War to commemorate members of QOR who have died in combat.



Construction on a bigger church started in 1909, the cornerstone was laid in 1910 and the new church was opened on November 30, 1913.



During the First World War, nearly every person who was able to enlist served in the military. Of the more than 500 men and dozens of nurses from St. Paul’s who went to war, 76 were killed. When you visit St. Paul’s today, you will see many of the memorials, stained glass windows and other tributes that were added in memory of the men and women of St. Paul’s who gave their lives for Canada.



Cody Hall was built in memory of Henry Cody’s son Maurice, who tragically drowned in a canoe accident.



During World War II, “war guests” from Britain were welcomed at the church.


March 29, 1953

The first church service televised in Canada was held at St. Paul’s.


September 1984

More than 2,200 leaders and members of more than 30 denominations and faiths from across Canada came to St. Paul’s for a national ecumenical service led by Pope John Paul II during his tour of Canada. Some other famous visitors to St. Paul’s include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as several Archbishops of Canterbury and members of the royal family such as Princess Alexandra of Kent.


1980s and 1990s

St. Paul’s has always been a welcoming church, to friends and strangers alike. During the Second World War, “war guests” from Britain were welcomed at the church, and during the 1980s and 1990s, several families of Vietnamese refugees were sponsored by St. Paul’s, which created an extensive support network to help them integrate into Canada. Most recently, our community sponsored a Syrian refugee family to Canada in 2016.



After the completion of Cody Hall, St. Paul’s consisted of three separate buildings: the ‘Old Church’ (1860), the ‘New Church’ (1913), and ‘Cody Hall’ (1928). In 2002, St. Paul’s began renovations to connect these three historic buildings. Named the “Nehemiah Project” this massive renovation symbolized bringing the old and new together into a unified whole. The project was completed in 2006 by Black and Moffat Architects, Inc, and won a Heritage Toronto award in 2007.



  • Over the past 177 years, St. Paul’s has grown numerically, spiritually, and in service to our local community and around the world.
  • Today, an average of 700 people attend St. Paul’s weekly but we’re more than just the largest Anglican Church in Toronto. We’re a diverse, caring, and authentic Christian community, striving to follow Jesus together and meet the needs of an urban city.



Our vision is to be a church made alive, a city made new, and a people made whole. We are a church for all people, and welcome everyone regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey.

Connect with us!

Phone Number

St. Paul's Bloor Street
227 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON M4W 1C8

Office Hours

Tuesday - Thursday from 9am - 3:30pm

Weekday Online Connections

Wed at 12 noon: Break With The Bishop on Facebook

Sunday Worship

8:15am - BCP Service

9:30 am - Contemporary, Children's and Youth Ministry

11 am - Classical, Children's and Youth Ministry

online Sunday Service