St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church

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St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church

St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church is an Evangelical Lutheran church in downtown Toronto serving the Latvian and Estonian population of Toronto. It is home to two congregations: St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Estonian and St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Latvian.

The church was originally built as Old St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. St. Andrew's Church, (Church of Scotland) had dated back to 1830 when Toronto was still the Town of York. This congregation had split in 1874 over whether it should move west from the corner of Adelaide and Church Streets. The majority erected a new church in 1876 at King and Simcoe that became known as "New St. Andrew's", and it remains there to this day. The church was renovated by Henry Langley (architect) in 1877-78. Those who wished to stay in the area stayed in "Old St. Andrew's". There was however, a need for a new building, and in 1878, they moved northeastward into this building at the corner of Jarvis and Carlton Streets.

The Soviet invasion of the Baltic regions had produced and influx of refugees into Toronto. At the same time, the United Church of Canada, which Old St. Andrew's had joined in 1925, was in relative decline within the downtown core of Toronto.

In 1950, Old St. Andrew's had joined with Westminster-Central to become St. Andrew's United Church near the corner of Bloor East and Yonge Streets, and by 1951, the Old St. Andrew's building was sold, and it became the main church of Toronto's Latvian and Estonian worshippers. Saint Andrew as a renowned saint of the Christian Church, was retained by the congregations.

Today it remains home to two congregations of both the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran and Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Both congregations are also part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

The Building

St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church was built by Langley & Burk in 1878 for Rev. M.G. Milligan and the congregation of the original St. Andrew's Church. They building is designed in a gothic style with a linear orientation on a East-West axis, with towers dominating the western side where the main entrances are located. The facade is a simple-yet-elegant design featuring groupings of stained-glass windows on the north, east and south sides of the building, to allow maximum light exposure during the morning hours when service would take place. The materials used in the construction are brick, wood, stone and stained-glass. The exterior shows mainly the brick and stone elements, while the interior reveals more of the warm wood texture complemented by the intimate lighting from the stained-glass windows. The approximate dimensions of the building are 36 meters by 25 meters for the body of the building, and 17 meters high to the top of the pitched roof, and 46 meters and 25 meters to the tops of the two steeples.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com