Below is a little snippet of history regarding Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church. Our building has been around since 1888! As with all things, they do not last forever. This fund is to help with incidental repairs around the church building. Our church has historical status.
At the turn of the 20th century, Parkdale was one of the most desirable places to live in Toronto. Marked by large properties, ample green space, and unparalleled access to the lake, the village was incorporated in 1878. Parkdale's geographic orientation made the presence of the amusement park (and the water in general) a major draw for well-to-do families looking to get settled.
In 1879, a lot on Dunn Ave. near Queen St. West, in the neighbourhood of Parkdale, was purchased. Starting out as a small wooden church, it would soon become the location of the iconic Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church of today. On November 21, 1880 Rev. W. Hunter gave the inaugural sermon.
Parkdale Presbyterian Church was growing. In August 1886 plans from the architectural firm of Gordon and Helliwell were accepted by the congregation. The building they designed would be a fine representation of late Victorian Gothic style. The architects were Gordon and Helliwell. These two architects had a partnership of over fifty years. Gordon was also the architect of the nearby Church of the Epiphany, now the Maronite Church, Our Lady of Lebanon, on Queen Street West at Beatty.
On September 13, 1886 the corner stone was laid by Rev. R. P. MacKay, pastor. Those present that day included the Hon. S. H. Blake, William Gooderham, Revs. Dr. Reid, D. J. MacDonell, H. M. Parsons, Alex Gilray, and John Smith. (see notes at the end of this document on these interesting people!) Strikes and other issues delayed the building construction, resulting in a January 1888 completion date. The cost of completion was around $33,000 with the property value of about $45,000.
Although the first service was held on January 1, 1888, Parkdale Presbyterian Church opened its doors to the world on January 24, 1888. The dedicatory service was preached by Rev. H. M. Parsons.