Originally located on the west side of Yonge Street opposite Royal Orchard, and moved to Jane and Brook Street in 1950, Holy Trinity is the oldest original church still in use in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Founded in 1830 by William Parsons and his brother-in-law, Benjamin Thorne, its construction was financially supported by wealthy relatives and friends in England as well as by prominent local families.
John Edey, who was a carpenter and member of the congregation known to have built St. Lukes Roman Catholic Church (1847) at the corner of Church and Colbourne Streets, may have been one of the builders of Holy Trinity.
By 1839-1840 the congregation had doubled in size. Thus, the church was widened, creating the present width of forty eight feet. It is thought that the balcony was added at this time and used as a choir gallery. The church was originally furnished with box pews. These pews had two primary attributes. First, they helped to prevent freezing drafts on the lower limbs in winter. Second, they could be rented to parishioners to raise funds for parish expenses. With the expansion in 1840, additional pews were added.
The style of the church is Classical in transition to Gothic. The Classical elements are seen in the fluted pillars and pilasters, the flat arches between the pillars, the pediments over the exterior doors and the quoins simulating stone on the exterior corners of the building. The Gothic influence appears in the pointed arch of the windows. However, the original windows in the front of the building retain a Classical element in the form of delicate tracery; this detail can also be seen in the modern window added in the sacristy on the north side in 1950. All of the other windows gradually lost their Classical tracery and clear glass when they were replaced with stained glass in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The church bell, cast in bronze was made by Thomas Mear of London in
1841. Imported from England, it is 23 1/2 inches in diameter and twenty-one
inches in height and is mounted in the belfry on a great wooden wheel.
The original pulpit in the church stood much higher than the present pulpit and was reached by several steps. It was located on the north side of the church, near the present-day memorial chapel. There was no chancel at that time. In 1914, the original altar was replaced with the present one as a memorial to Joseph Robinson and his family. In the same year, the present pulpit replaced the old high pulpit.
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