St. Luke's, now called St. Volodymr's, is located at 15 Church Lane in Thornhill. The church is one of the oldest in the Archdiocese of Toronto, having been built in the mid-1840s, contemporary with St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto. These are the only two church buildings to remain from that period, which reflects the growing population in Toronto and York Region of Irish immigrants. St. Luke's is a simple yet beautiful frame structure, built by Thornhill carpenter John Edey in 1847. Originally measuring only forty-eight feet long and thirty feet wide, the church was soon expanded by an additional thirty seven feet only 6 years later, to accommodate the growing parish. It became parish headquarters in 1858, with mission churches including St. Mary's Immaculate in Richmond Hill and St. Patrick's in Markham.
Although the exterior of St. Luke's has not changed significantly
since the 1850s, the interior has undergone a great deal of renovation over the
years. Oil lamps gave way to electric ones, and parishioners no longer gather
around a wood stove at the back of the church as they did in the 1800s.
In 1972, the congregation of St. Luke's moved to a larger church on
Green Lane in Thornhill. The historic building was purchased by the Ukrainian
Catholics and re-named St. Vladimir's. A shrine commemorating the centennial of
Ukrainian settlement in Canada was erected in 1991 to the south of the church
To browse through the cemetery, click here.