In an area filled with Gothic Revival churches, Nassagaweya Presbyterian bucks the local trend by sticking to its rural roots with its loyalist-style building. But this small rural church has a big heart. Starting in 1836, Presbyterian ministers from the Esquining Presbyterian Church (Boston) began to host worship services in S.S. No. 3 or Knowles Schoolhouse. Despite the area’s poor reputation, the congregation flourished, and in 1838 Daniel McNair donated a section of his property to establish a church and burial ground. Volunteers constructed a simple Loyalist-style frame meeting house which hosted its first service in 1839. In May 1839, the session’s first meeting wasRead More →

The tall square bell tower of St. Jude’s Anglican Church is a landmark of Downtown Oakville; while not as prominent as Knox’s spire, the square tower reminds people that this is an Anglican church. Despite a strong leaning towards the colonial government in Oakville, the lack of an Anglican parish in the early history of Oakville is surprising, but the Chisholms were strong Presbyterians. The first recorded Anglican service in Oakville occurred in 1839 when Rev Thomas Greene rode from Wellington Centre (Burlington) and St. Luke’s Parish to conduct a service in a local home. The strong response saw regular services being conducted in aRead More →

This beautiful stone church stands right around a corner and is slightly out of a driver’s visual range. But this stone church occupies the historic village of Lowville, which is technically part of Burlington, but where the modern borders lay, the church is in Milton. Anglican ministers started visiting the area in 1836, hosting non-denominational Sabbath Schools in a schoolhouse in Lowville. While these schools are not technically connected to a modern parish, they certainly helped support the area’s Anglican population. It wasn’t until 1856 that a Parish was officially established in Lowville. A plot of land was donated to the church by George AgnewRead More →

Today most people visit the historical village of Hornby for the Toronto Outlet mall. But this tiny village was once home to a thriving community with a large church presence. And while all have since closed, there is still one that stands tall, St Stephen’s Anglican Church. In 1834, Rev Adam Elliot led the first recorded Anglican service in Hornby. Rev Elliot, known for his work with Canada’s Indigenous peoples, was one of many missionary rectors who served the many Anglicans who lived in the rural parts of Upper Canada. These services continued in Hornby, hosted at farms through the settlement and, as attendance grew,Read More →

St. John’s Anglican Church is another small rural parish easily missed. I didn’t even know the parish still existed after coming across the name in connection with other Anglican churches. But after driving past on my way home and discovering its history, I knew I would have to include the congregation. The township of Nelson was home to many small rural communities that popped up along Dundas Road. One of these communities, Hannahville, grew up around the modern intersection with Guelph Line. Like many such communities, there were a significant group of Anglicans who, if they wished to worship, needed to travel to St. Luke’sRead More →

Hidden far from the downtown and tucked away is the oldest continuously occupied Church in Oakville. The Parish of St. Andrew’s owes itself to Irish farmers Bartholomew O’Conner and Charlie O’Hara, who convinced a priest in Dundas to celebrate Mass in Halton Region in 1819. For many years, the Roman Catholics in Oakville travelled some seventeen kilometres to the St. Peter’s Mission Church, but the first known celebration of Mass in Oakville occurred in 1835. This number grew as the St. Peter’s Parish only offered mass once every four months. In Oakville, the rapid growth of the settlement resulted in 150 Catholics celebrating mass inRead More →

Sitting outside downtown Burlington, St. Luke’s is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Burlington today. Built on land originally granted to the Mohawk War Chief, Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant), its burial grounds are the final resting place of many notable figures in Canadian history and the Anglican church. The land around Burlington Bay, which makes up most of downtown Burlington today, was a gift from the Crown to Thayendanegea for his service during the American Revolution and negotiations with the Indigenous People of Upper Canada following the establishment of the province. Originally known as Brant’s Park, the land was distributed among his children upon Thayendanega’sRead More →

It is hard to miss Knox Church in Oakville; the tall spire is visible across the entire length of downtown and symbolises the church itself. It should be of no surprise that a Presbyterian congregation is among the oldest in downtown Oakville as William Chisholm, the town’s founder, was himself a Presbyterian. The earliest Presbyterians arrived, like many within Canada, from the United States and in 1833, a small congregation associated with the American church quickly formed in the village. The congregation worshipped in a frame structure along the banks of the Sixteen Mile Creek. The connection to the American church only lasted a handfulRead More →

While Methodism remained in the rural areas of Upper Canada, supported by circuit riders, urban congregations sprung up also. St. John’s, located outside Downtown Oakville is among these early Methodist congregations that sprung up in the early years of Oakville. One of the first settlers to the new village of Oakville, Justus Williams, a strong supporter of Methodism, desired to bring a Methodist congregation into downtown Oakville. The other congregations were located further north, so Williams invited various saddlebag preachers to hold worship services in his own home starting in 1832. He soon added the congregation to the newly created Nelson circuit and secured theRead More →

The modern city of Oakville comprises several historical villages and settlements; In contrast, some are more visible than others; one that many drive through without thought is the village of Munn, marked today by a public school, cemetery and church. First settled in 1803 by Daniel Munn and his wife around the intersection of 6th Line and Dundas Road after fleeing the United States during the final days of the American Revolution, Daniel quickly established a farm and tavern along Dundas Road when the Trafalgar Township was surveyed. Daniel, like many Loyalists, was a Methodist, and the first noted worship service was held on theRead More →