Entrance to the church is made by passing up wide shallow steps, set between planters, in which there are evergreen shrubs. The entrance is broad and inviting. Passing through beautifully designed oak and glass doors, the visitor finds him or herself in a low, brightly lighted narthex. This narthex has a coloured stone floor and is panelled in oak and has ample storage for hats and coats. The stone floor is not only pleasant to look at, but is very funtional as the stone is impervious to the salt and chemicals so liberally spread on our streets and sidewalks in the winter.

Passing through the narthex, the visitor enters immediately into the sanctuary which lifts straight up for nearly forty feet to a ceiling composed of British Columbia fir planks running the length of the building. These planks are an inch and three quarters thick, and are crossed by five great beams behind which the lighting is concealed. The congregation is concentrated beneath the high ceiling with only the side aisles being under the lower roof.

Dominating the Church, is a great wood screen at the end of the chancel, in the centre of which is a blue and gold dossal curtain before which is suspended a Celtic Cross. The Cross , for so long neglected in Protestant worship, calls to mind the life and death of our Redeemer, and its form, the Cross which has a circle around the arms, reminds us that the Presbyterian Church in Canada is a daughter Church of the Church of Scotland, to which the Gospel came from Ireland by way of the settlement at Iona. It is in Ireland and on the west coast of Scotland that we find this ancient form of the cross, hence its name, the Celtic, or Ionic Cross.

Around the walls of the sanctuary are placed twelve mosaics in brilliant colours. The six on the north wall are the Great Seals of the mother Churches of the Reformed tradition, Geneva, Italy, France, Scotland, Holland and Hungary. The six on the south wall represent a selection from the over seventy daughter Churches of the Reformed tradition which have sprung from the original six. In these mosaics is symbolized the extent and complexity of the Reformed tradition, and the fact that our Canadian Church is composed of many different cultural backgrounds. The twelfth Seal, that of Canada, is unoffical, and was designed by Dr. G. Deane Johnston, the minister of this Church at the time and assisted by Mr. Murray Ross, a young Toronto Presbyterian. These Seals will be explained in more detail at the end of this tour.

Approaching the chancel, the visitor sees on his left the pulpit, in the centre and the back of the chancel a great Communion Table, and on the right the lectern, from which the Word is read and Prayer is offered. The arrangement of the chancel furniture symbolizes the means of Grace as set forth in the Shorter Catechism. The means of Grace are the Word, the Sacraments, and Prayer. In our tradition there is no particular emphasis on one, rather than on the other, but combined these three means of Grace enrich the Soul of the Christian. In front of the pulpit is the Baptismal Font. The Font is placed at the front of the Church, rather than at the entrance, or the side, to indicate that in the Sacrament of Baptism, all the congregation participate, not merely the parents and the minister, for with us the congregation promises to assist the parents in bringing up their children in the nurture and in the admonition of the Lord.

On each of these three pieces of chancel furniture there is symbolic carving. The pulpit is faced with a rectangular design representing the Word of God. In the centre is an open Bible, backed by a Crusader's Sword, here the reference is to Ephesians 6, verse 17, "the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God." Surrounding the Bible are the heraldic symbols of the four Evangelists. The winged man representing St. Matthew where the human aspect of Jesus is emphasized, the winged lion representing St. Mark where the kingly attributes of Jesus are set forth, the winged ox representing St. Luke who emphasizes the sacrificial nature of Christ's ministry, and the eagle representing St. John the Evangelist who gathered up the story of Jesus and seems to view the whole from a great height. Intertwined around these figures is the Tree of Life which is mentioned in the Book of Revelation where it says that the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations - Revelation 22: verse 2.

Moving into the chancel itself, the visitor approaches the Communion Table. This table and the Cross above it are made from walnut supplied by Mr. John Stratford, in memory of his father Mr. Graham Stratford, one of the original members of our congregation. The trees were felled and dragged out of the bush by the senior boys of the Church School.

The Communion Table in the Reformed tradition is a table and not an altar. Here is celebrated the Holy Communion, or as we prefer to call it the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. In form it resembles a plain trestle table, such as that on which, undoubtedly, the Lord instituted the Supper. Around the sides and across the front are carved medallions. On the sides there are the Grapes and the Wheat Sheaf which in Church symbolism have represented the Lord's Supper for many centuries. Across the front are carvings again representing the diversity fo our Canadian Presbyterian family; the Phoenix of Hungary, the Rose of England, the Lion of Holland, the Thistle of Scotland, Shamrock of Ireland, and in the centre a maple leaf backed by St. Andrew's Cross indicating that our Canadian Presbyterian Church is a daughter Church of the Church of Scotland.

Behind the table are eleven built-in elders' seats upholstered in blue. These seats are all on a level, five elders sit on each side of the minister whose seat is immediately behind the table. Here again is symbolized the fact that in our tradition the minister is not a priest, with an ex-officio grace, but a teaching elder. As the Irish Church puts it, he is "chief among his equals."

In front of the lectern, is once again the Eagle of St. John the Evangelist. This symbol has been traditional for the lectern in Church architecture for many centuries.

The lid of the Baptismal Font is surmounted by a little Lamb. Here we are reminded of the Love of God for little children and the scriptural reference is in Isaiah 40: verse 11, "He shall lead His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom."


Our organ has a somewhat unusual history and parts of it are quite old. When we bought the building of the former Congregational Church, there was an organ in reasonable operating condition in the building. The instrument has been installed, we are led to believe, about the turn of the century by the Detroit Organ Company.
Towards the end of the Second World War, it was necessary to undertake a major overhaul of the instrument. At this time, a new wind chest and a new console were installed, and the action was completely electrified.

When the tower fell through the roof of the Church, it demolished the organ console, but left the action and pipes comparatively undamaged. A committee was appointed to investigate what we should do in order to provide us with a suitable organ for our new Church. After careful investigation, the committee reported that a new organ could be obtained at a cost of $32,000 and that our old organ could be completely repaired, reconditioned, and enlarged, for approximately $14,500. The recommendation of the committee was that the latter course be adopted.

The renovation was undertaken by Keates and Legge of Burford and Lucan, and entailed a completely new console, and overhaul of the wind chest, some modification of the action, a new set of magnets to replace the ones installed during the Second World War, which had not proven too satisfactory, and a new organ blower mechanism. In addition to this reconditioning, four new stops were added, giving an additional three hundred and sixty-six new pipes.

Our old organ had no chimes, but it was felt that much as these would add to the effectiveness of the instrument, they could be omitted for the present. Mr. Joseph Blow, and his sister installed a twenty-five note set of chimes in memory of their father and mother. These chimes are equipped with electronic pickups.

The old organ had 1,430 pipes and the reconditioned instrument has 1,821.


Moving down the stairs to the south of the narthex, one passes the south entrance. This again is a beautiful design of oak and glass. The side door opens on a parking space between the Church and what was once the Public Library. Moving on down to the lower level, one enters the library. To the left is a large storeroom under the front steps and directly ahead are two washrooms. The entrance to the adult social centre, which we have called "The St. Andrew's Room"is to the right.

The name "St Andrew's" perpetuates the name of a former Presbyterian congregation in our city which is no longer in existence. The Church having passed into a Union was subsequently merged with the Brant Avenue United Church. This room was furnished completely by the Women's Guild and will be used by Church organizations starting with the Young People's Society.

A smaller corridor leads from the St. Andrew's Room giving access to the Ladies Choir Room to the left and to a Conference Room. A small kitchenette also opens into this corridor on the right. The purpose of this kitchenette is not to serve meals but to make a cup of coffee and sandwiches for smaller meeting or teas.

Passing through this interior corridor one enters the main corridor in the downstairs area which runs along the south side of the building. Turning to the left on entering the main corridor, one finds the Men's Choir Room and then the Primary Church School Room.

The Primary Church School Room is carefully designed to give the greatest possible assistance to this important department of the Church School. Along the walls are blackboards and tackboards, and across the end, very adequate cupboard space. At the end of this hallway is the nursery.

Across the rear of the basement is still another hallway which has an opening off it to two more washrooms, a Sunday School Secretary's office, and stairs leading up to the main Church School Hall/gymnasium and a full kitchen facility. Stairs also lead up to the Church Secretary's office and Minister's Vestry as well as Sunday School rooms.

The Mosaic Crests

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