Holy Family Parish is located at 1372 King St W (at Close Ave on the northeast corner) in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto.
Built in 1902, architect Arthur W Holmes designed the Roman Catholic church. The previous structure, then known as the Church of the Holy Family, could accommodate 400 worshippers and was made of brick and stone. Its interior was finished with Georgia pine, and the hammered-beam roof was made of oak. The first service was held in December 1902.
Since 1979, the parish has been in the care of the Fathers of the Oratory of St Philip Neri.
In 1997, a fire sparked by repairs being done on the church’s roof swept through the historic building. No one was injured in the blaze. The church’s interior was destroyed; however, the vestments and chalices were saved. In the ruins was the statue of the Virgin Mary, and while it was discoloured by smoke, the figure was relatively unharmed.
The process of rebuilding the church began, and during that time, funds were raised, and the congregation held mass in the gym of Holy Family School and at Parkdale United Church. Construction on Holy Family Church commenced in 1999, and the first service was held in 2001.
The new Roman Renaissance-style church is made of brick and stone. It’s 35 m or 110 ft long and 17 m or 55 ft wide and has nearly twice the capacity of the old church. Interior architectural highlights include a replica of the 16 plaques of the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, a magnificent organ originally commissioned for a private concert hall, marble and porcelain tile floors, and two rose windows in the transepts. On the church’s exterior is a 6,804 kg or 15,000 lb copper dome, and over the front doors is a bas-relief sculpture of the Holy Family. The cost of the new church was $5 million.
Holy Family Parish Photos
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jun 24, 1902, pg 9
- The Globe Newspaper Archives: Dec 8, 1902, pg 12
- Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Jun 14, 1997, pg A4
- Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Apr 4, 2000, pg B3
- Landmarks of Toronto: Volume 4 by J Ross Robertson (1904), pg 593
- The Toronto Oratory YouTube Channel: The Dedication of the Holy Family Church (2001)
- Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
- Video: The Toronto Oratory YouTube Channel