Deer Park United Church
Deer Park United Church began in 1881 as Deer Park Presbyterian Mission, and the first building was constructed on the northwest corner of Yonge Street and St Clair, now presently home of an office tower containing a few radio stations, including CFRB, 99.9 Mix FM and 97.3 EZ Rock. In 1913, a building was erected at 129 St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto. It was one of two United churches in the area and along St. Clair, the other being Timothy Eaton Memorial Church (formerly Methodist). The first missionary was Rev. Gordon Freeman; his granddaughter is a former United Church Moderator and former (1997-2002) Canadian Senator Lois (Freeman) Wilson. In 1925, this congregation voted to join the newly formed United Church of Canada. Some 370 members who voted to remain Presbyterian, withdrew and formed Calvin Church. In 2006, the congregation celebrated their 125th anniversary. The next year, the Deer Park congregation was told that the owners of the Imperial Oil Building next door would no longer supply building heat after July, 2008. Due to the financial inability to maintain the large aging building, the Deer Park congregation de-sanctified the building at 129 St. Clair West in June 2008. The building remains vacant (January 2010). The Deer Park United congregation was warmly welcomed by the Calvin Presbyterian congregation into a shared ecumenical worship. Currently, the two congregations are developing the legal and logistical framework for continuing shared ecumenical ministries. The worship services contain common elements and also elements unique to the United Church of Canada and Presbyterian traditions. Both the Deer Park and Calvin congregations are members of the Churches on the Hill. The current address for Deer Park United Church is 26 Delisle Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.