OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS"A touchstone of what Toronto was, is and can be"
All Saints’, Sherbourne Street, is the masterpiece of Richard C. Windeyer, who has designed the adjacent 1884 schoolhouse/parish hall, and John Fallon. It is an outstanding example in Canada of High Victorian polychrome brickwork, an outgrowth from the Gothic Revival movement in 19th century architecture. The former curator of the Royal Ontario Museum, Corey Keeble, has called it “this nation’s perfect Gothic Revival realization of the synthesis of architecture and applied art advocated by Augustus Welby, Northmore Pugin, William Morris, and the legitimate pioneers of the Modern Movement…”
In addition to the distinctive brickwork and hammerhead arches of the church, Keeble lauds the stained glass windows from Toronto’s McCausland studios, the oldest surviving stained glass studio in North America, and its 1870’s stencil glass – “the best of its kind in Toronto.” McCausland’s chancel window for All Saints’, designed at the beginning of the 1880’s, was intended to challenge the English-designed chancel glass at St. James’ Cathedral. “The All Saints’ chancel window is in in fact epoch making in the history of Canadian stained glass.”
Keeble concludes, “All Saints is so important that it justifies virtually any expenditure in terms of its restoration and preservation for future generations. This is a structure that must be preserved. It is too important to be lost to the city, the province and the nation.” That it has now become a home for the homeless and destitute, he adds, means “its history has encompassed all states and levels of society and humanity within Toronto. In this sense, it has been a genuine microcosm of Toronto and Torontonians.. .a touchstone of what Toronto was, is and can be.”
315 Dundas Street East (The southeast corner of Sherbourne & Dundas) Toronto, ON M5A 2A2
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© All Saints Church-Community Centre, 2016 | Design by agentbrand.ca | Photography by Michael Hudson