St Andrew’s United Church & the McGill Street Arch

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2021 - The McGill Street Arch is located on Yonge St, south of Carlton St, on the east side in downtown Toronto
2021 – The McGill Street Arch is located on Yonge St, south of Carlton St, on the east side in downtown Toronto

St Andrew’s United Church, originally Westminster Presbyterian Church, once occupied a building at 117 Bloor St E (on the south side, opposite Park Rd) in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto.

In 1923, Westminster Presbyterian Church built a new 960-seat structure to replace their previous church that had been destroyed by fire in 1920. In the years to come, the church became known as Westminster United, then Westminster Central United.

In 1950, the congregation from St Andrew’s United Church (once at 415 Jarvis St) joined Westminster, and the church was renamed St Andrew’s United.

In 1981, St Andrew’s United Church was demolished. However, the church’s stone arch was preserved and rebuilt as a pedestrian gateway when the city closed the McGill St and Yonge St intersection to traffic. Now known as the McGill Street Arch, it’s located downtown on Yonge St, south of Carlton St on the east side.

In 1983, a new St Andrew’s United Church was built at 117 Bloor St E.

St Andrew’s United Church & McGill Street Arch Photos   

1920s - Looking southwest on Bloor St E towards Westminster Presbyterian Church, later St Andrew's United Church, once on Bloor St E between Church St and Yonge St
1920s – Looking southwest on Bloor St E towards Westminster Presbyterian Church, later St Andrew’s United Church, once on Bloor St E between Church St and Yonge St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 3237)
1980s – Looking west from McGill St towards the McGill Street Arch and Yonge St
1980s – Looking west from McGill St towards the McGill Street Arch and Yonge St (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 36, Item 8)
1950s - Looking east from Yonge St towards St Andrew's United Church, originally Westminster Presbyterian Church, once on Bloor St E, opposite Park Rd. Notice Towne Cinema near the church
1950s – Looking east from Yonge St towards St Andrew’s United Church, originally Westminster Presbyterian Church, once on Bloor St E, opposite Park Rd. Notice Towne Cinema near the church (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds, Series 381, File 123, ID 8231-4)
2021 - The McGill Street Arch is located on Yonge St, south of Carlton St, on the east side in downtown Toronto
2021 – The McGill Street Arch is located on Yonge St, south of Carlton St, on the east side in downtown Toronto
1930s - Looking east from the intersection of Bloor St and Yonge St towards Westminster Presbyterian Church, later St Andrew's United Church
1930s – Looking east from the intersection of Bloor St and Yonge St towards Westminster Presbyterian Church, later St Andrew’s United Church (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 4235)
1980s – Looking east from west of Yonge St towards the McGill Street Arch
1980s – Looking east from west of Yonge St towards the McGill Street Arch (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 36, Item 59)
2023 - Looking east towards McGill St from Yonge St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. The intersection where McGill St and Yonge St meet was closed in the early 1980s, and a parkette was created. The stone arch, now known as the McGill Street Arch, came from the former St Andrew’s United Church, once located on Bloor St E. The church was demolished in 1981, and its stone arch was preserved, relocated and rebuilt as a pedestrian gateway
2023 – Looking east towards McGill St from Yonge St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. The intersection where McGill St and Yonge St meet was closed in the early 1980s, and a parkette was created. The stone arch, now known as the McGill Street Arch, came from the former St Andrew’s United Church, once located on Bloor St E. The church was demolished in 1981, and its stone arch was preserved, relocated and rebuilt as a pedestrian gateway
2021 - The heritage plaque reads:

McGill Street Arch

"This stone arch is from the former St. Andrew's United Church (built in 1923) on Bloor Street East at Park Road. The City of Toronto purchased the arch when the church was demolished in 1981. The arch was then rebuilt here as a pedestrian gateway, after the intersection of McGill and Yonge Streets was closed."

Heritage Toronto 2011
2021 – The heritage plaque reads:

McGill Street Arch

“This stone arch is from the former St. Andrew’s United Church (built in 1923) on Bloor Street East at Park Road. The City of Toronto purchased the arch when the church was demolished in 1981. The arch was then rebuilt here as a pedestrian gateway, after the intersection of McGill and Yonge Streets was closed.”

Heritage Toronto 2011
Source
  • Heritage Toronto plaque
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jan 31, 1920, pg 1
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: May 28, 1923, pg 11
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jan 19, 1950, pg 9
  • Current Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
  • Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives

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