St Andrew by-the-Lake Church – A Historic Parish on Toronto Island

Posted:

Late 1880s - The rectory known as "Happy-Go-Lucky" and St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at their original location along the shore of the lake, on Centre Island
Late 1880s – The rectory known as “Happy-Go-Lucky” and St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at their original location along the shore of the lake, on Centre Island (Toronto Public Library R-3431)

St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is located on Cibola Ave, on Toronto Island. The picturesque church originally stood on the south side of Centre Island, facing the shore of Lake Ontario (southeast of today’s Island Water Treatment Plant). The church was moved from the beachfront to its present location in 1959 and continues as a place of worship for the island community.

The Architecture

St Andrew by-the-Lake Church was built in 1884 at the request of the Most Reverend Arthur Sweatman. Part of the Cathedral Church of St James parish, the church cost $2,000 to construct. Architect Arthur Richard Denison designed the wooden structure in a semi-Gothic and Medieval variation of the Stick-Style. Enlarged in 1895, the cream-coloured church with chocolate-brown trim features a porch, buttresses, Gothic windows, a rose window and a bell-cote. Beautiful stained glass windows throughout the church include a Robert McCausland-designed triptych in the north chancel.

Also built and designed by Denison in 1884 was the whimsical rectory for Reverend Sweatman. The pretty little cottage, known as “Happy-Go-Lucky,” was located next to the church on the west side.

2022 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is located at Cibola Ave on the Toronto Island
2022 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is located at Cibola Ave on Toronto Island

Relocation of the Church

In 1959, St Andrew by-the-Lake church, rectory and parish hall were sold to the city’s Parks Department for $22,978. While the rectory and parish hall were demolished, the church survived. The church was leased back to the Synod and was relocated to Cibola Ave. Before the move, the stained glass windows were removed, and the structure was cut in half near the transept. Once at its new location, St Andrew by-the-Lake Church was repaired, and the stained glass windows were reinstalled.

The Restoration

The historic structure received heritage status from the City of Toronto in 1973 and Ontario Heritage Trust in 1979. However, in October of 1979, for fear the roof would collapse, Metro Parks condemned the church and put a fence around it. When the congregation arrived for Sunday service, using wire-cutters brought by bicycle, they cut through the fence. There was applause and cheering.

This marked the beginning of a five-year closure to restore St Andrew by-the-Lake. The stained glass windows were reconditioned, lighting was updated, and a new wood floor was installed. The exterior was also restored to give it the look of its early years. In 1984, the project was completed, and the church was reopened for the Centennial celebration.

2022 - The nave and chancel at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church. Around the walls of the nave are the Stations of the Cross from the former St Rita's Roman Catholic Chapel (also once on Centre Island)
2022 – The nave and chancel at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church. Around the walls of the nave are the Stations of the Cross from the former St Rita’s Roman Catholic Chapel (also once on Centre Island)

St Andrew by-the-Lake Today

The quaint and charming island church has seating for 100 people in 22 pews. Along with Sunday services year-round, the church is also available for weddings, baptisms, memorial services, funerals, and more, plus the acoustics are lovely for concerts.

Did You Know?

  • When St Rita’s Roman Catholic Chapel, also on Toronto Island, was demolished in 1984, the Stations of the Cross and pews were moved to St Andrew by-the-Lake. For a time, St Rita’s remaining parishioners attended separate worship services at St Andrew on Sunday afternoons.
  • While the parish is responsible for maintenance and care of the church building, the City of Toronto owns the structure.
  • St Andrew by-the-Lake is about a 15 to 25-minute walk from the Algonquin and Ward’s Islands residential communities and 15 minutes from Centre Island dock.

St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church Photos

Late 1880s - The rectory known as "Happy-Go-Lucky" and St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at their original location along the shore of the lake, on Centre Island
Late 1880s – The rectory known as “Happy-Go-Lucky” and St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at their original location along the shore of the lake, on Centre Island (Toronto Public Library R-3431)
Circa 1930 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was once located on the corner of Cherokee Ave and Lakeshore Ave on Centre Island
Circa 1930 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was once located on the corner of Cherokee Ave and Lakeshore Ave on Centre Island
2022 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is located at Cibola Ave on Toronto Island
2022 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is located at Cibola Ave on Toronto Island
2022 - The nave and chancel at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church. Around the walls of the nave are the Stations of the Cross from the former St Rita's Roman Catholic Chapel (also once on Centre Island)
2022 – The nave and chancel at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church. Around the walls of the nave are the Stations of the Cross from the former St Rita’s Roman Catholic Chapel (also once on Centre Island)
2022 - Triptych stained glass windows and the altar in the north chancel of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Triptych stained glass windows and the altar in the north chancel of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - The altar, pews, triptych stained glass windows and a Gothic window trimmed in yellow stained glass in the north chancel of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – The altar, pews, triptych stained glass windows and a Gothic window trimmed in yellow stained glass in the north chancel of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Triptych stained glass windows designed by Robert McCausland in the north chancel of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Triptych stained glass windows designed by Robert McCausland in the north chancel of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Stained glass window and baptismal font at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Stained glass window and baptismal font at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Gothic stained glass window in the east transept of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Gothic stained glass window in the east transept of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Gothic stained glass window in the west transept of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Gothic stained glass window in the west transept of St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - A Gothic stained glass window at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – A Gothic stained glass window at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Pews and a Gothic window trimmed in blue stained glass at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Pews and a Gothic window trimmed in blue stained glass at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Pews and a Gothic window trimmed in red stained glass at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 – Pews and a Gothic window trimmed in red stained glass at St Andrew by-the-Lake Church
2022 - Looking towards the entrance of the church. Notice the rose window in the balcony
2022 – Looking towards the entrance of the church. Notice the rose window in the balcony
2022 - Rope to sound the church bell
2022 – Rope to sound the church bell
1884 - "Happy-Go-Lucky" rectory and St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at their original location along the shore of Lake Ontario, on Centre Island
1884 – “Happy-Go-Lucky” rectory and St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at their original location along the shore of Lake Ontario, on Centre Island (Toronto Public Library R-3431)
1964 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Church at its new location on Cibola Ave. For the move, the structure was cut in half (the arrow shows the mark on the roof where it was cut in half) and the stained glass windows were removed. Once at Cibola Ave, the church was repaired, and the windows were reinstalled
1964 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Church at its new location on Cibola Ave. For the move, the structure was cut in half (the arrow shows the mark on the roof where it was cut in half) and the stained glass windows were removed. Once at Cibola Ave, the church was repaired, and the windows were reinstalled (photo taken of a display board at the church – used with permission)
Between 1968 to 1983 - Looking north towards St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at its present-day location on Cibola Ave
Between 1968 to 1983 – Looking north towards St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church at its present-day location on Cibola Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 376, Item 24)
2022 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was built in 1884 and designed by architect Arthur Richard Denison
2022 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was built in 1884 and designed by architect Arthur Richard Denison
2022 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church sign
2022 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church sign
2022 - The picturesque St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 – The picturesque St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 - Looking northeast across the water towards St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church on Toronto Island
2022 – Looking northeast across the water towards St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church on Toronto Island
2022 - The main entrance of St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church on Toronto Island
2022 – The main entrance of St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church on Toronto Island
2022 - The stained glass rose window and bell-cote at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 – The stained glass rose window and bell-cote at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 - The west side of St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church on Toronto Island
2022 – The west side of St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church on Toronto Island
2022 - A stained glass window at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 – A stained glass window at St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
Sketch of St Andrew's Episcopal Church on Toronto Island
Sketch of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Toronto Island (Landmarks of Toronto Volume 4 by J Ross Robertson – 1904)
Sketch of St Andrew's Episcopal Church interior on Toronto Island
Sketch of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church interior on Toronto Island (Landmarks of Toronto Volume 4 by J Ross Robertson – 1904)
1890 - Goads Map showing the original beachfront location of St Andrew's Episcopal Church. Notice the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on the left
1890 – Goads Map showing the original beachfront location of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Notice the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on the left (Toronto Public Library)
2022 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was designed in the Stick-Style with semi-Gothic and Medieval elements
2022 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was designed in the Stick-Style with semi-Gothic and Medieval elements
2022 - Looking northwest towards St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church located at Cibola Ave
2022 – Looking northwest towards St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church located at Cibola Ave
2022 - Looking southwest towards the back of St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 – Looking southwest towards the back of St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church
2022 - Located on the Toronto Islands, St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is surrounded by beautiful trees
2022 – Located on the Toronto Islands, St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church is surrounded by beautiful trees
2022 - "The Island Church 1884" St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church sign
2022 – “The Island Church 1884” St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church sign
1879 - The Consecration of the Right Reverend Arthur Sweatman, M.A. as Bishop of Toronto
1879 – The Consecration of the Right Reverend Arthur Sweatman, M.A. as Bishop of Toronto (AnglicanHistory.org)
2022 - Plaque in the memory of the Most Reverend Arthur Sweatman. It was through his efforts that St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was built
2022 – Plaque in the memory of the Most Reverend Arthur Sweatman. It was through his efforts that St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church was built
 2022 - St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church plaque
2022 – St Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church plaque
SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

24,817FollowersFollow
103FollowersFollow
8,850FollowersFollow