Knox Presbyterian Church is located at 630 Spadina Ave (south of Harbord St on the west side) in the Harbord Village neighbourhood of Toronto.
The Queen St W Location
The congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church was established in 1820. Their first church was built in 1821 on land donated by Jesse Ketchum, a businessperson and philanthropist. The 400-seat brick church faced Richmond St W, had a depth to Queen St W and was between Yonge St and Bay St (on the present-day site of The Bay).
In 1843, Knox Church was greatly enlarged; however, in 1847, it was destroyed by fire. That same year and on the same site, the congregation built a new church with the entrance facing Queen St W.
In 1904, Knox Church sold its Queen St W property to the Robert Simpson Co for $206,000 to expand its department store. The area was becoming mainly commercial. The last service was held in July 1905, and the church was demolished soon after. That same year, the Spadina Ave property was purchased, and construction began.
The Move to Spadina Ave
Until the new church was completed, the congregation worshiped temporarily at the church’s old schoolroom on Queen St W, then in 1907, moved to their new schoolhouse on Spadina Ave.
In January 1909, the first service was held at Knox Presbyterian Church. The 1,200-seat church was designed by architect James Wilson Gray. It’s made from Credit Valley stone with Indiana limestone trim and combines Gothic and Romanesque Revival architectural styles. Interior highlights include a gallery, celebrated stained glass windows and rich woodwork.
Early architectural drawings show the church was supposed to have a spire on the tower; however, it was held off due to funding issues and was never added.
The church building received heritage status from the City of Toronto in 2006.
In 2018, Knox Presbyterian Church underwent a renovation, and many of its existing elements were preserved.