Toronto’s architectural gems–Metropolitan United Church

Metroploitan United 2  f0124_fl0002_id0059[1]

Metropolitan United at Queen and Church Streets, in early spring and mid-winter.


View of Metropolitan looking east from Bond Street on a Sunday morning in October of 2012


The above sketch depicts the log cabin on the south side of King Street, where the first Methodist Church in York (Toronto) commenced services in 1818. 

Plaque, Jordon and King Sts.  Plaque- Bank of Com

The site of the log cabin today, on the corner of King St. W. and Jordan  Street. A small plaque on the facade of the building (lower left corner of the picture) commemorates the 1818 structure. The enlarged photo shows the wording on the plaque. 


By 1833, a larger church was required. Land was purchased at Toronto Street and Adelaide Street (then called Newgate), and they constructed a fine Neo-Georgian style building.

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In 1868, the congregation purchased land on the north side of Queen Street East, between Bond and Church Streets. It stretched as far north as Shuter Street. The 3 1/2 acre parcel of land, known as McGill Square, was bought for $25,000.  Henry Langley designed a magnificent structure in the Neo-Gothic style. It held over 1900 people. The cornerstone was laid in 1870 by Edgerton Ryerson. The first service was held in 1872.

In 1922, a 22-bell, 17-ton carillon was installed in the tower with money donated by Chester Massey. In 1925, the church joined with three other denominations to form the United Church of Canada. The name of the church on King Street East was changed to Metropolitan United.

                 Met Tower

In January of 1928, a disastrous fire destroyed all of the 1872 structure except for the tower and narthex. In June of the same year, they decided to rebuild.


The new church was designed by J. Gibb Morton. The first service in the new church was in December of 1929. The sanctuary was 15 feet higher than the previous building, and the transepts 8 feet deeper. The Globe Furniture Company of Waterloo, Ontario, was contracted to install the woodwork. Robert McCausland installed the windows. The new building cost $400,000. A new 7852-pipe Casavant organ was installed for Easter of 1930.

Today, the church is a vibrant part of the downtown scene. Its “out-of-the-cold” program is vital to those in need. The musical programs of the church are well known, as well as the music for the weekly services.

Much of the information for this post was obtained from the book, “Firm Foundations,” by Judith St. John. It is available at the church, which is open daily during the week to host visitors who may wish to see the interior of the building. The ornate wood carvings and the stained-glass windows are fascinating to examine, and the hosts are knowledgeable and welcoming.

194 th. Anniver. Nov 4, 2012

                   A Sunday morning service at Metropolitan United.


The annual outdoor service in June, and the blessing of the animals.


    The Kirkin’ of the Tartans ceremony in Metropolitan United


                  The Thanksgiving altar display in October of 2012

To view a post about Metropolitan’s Kirkin’ of the Tartans.

Metropolitan’s participation in Toronto’s “Doors Open” program

To view other posts about Toronto’s historic buildings:

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

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