The Beautiful Medieval Style of St Andrew’s Church

by Denise Marie

St Andrew’s Church is located at ‪73 Simcoe St‬ (at King St West) in the Entertainment District of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The History

The church was founded in 1830, in association with the Church of Scotland. One of the oldest Presbyterian congregations in the country, their first house of worship was built at the southwest corner of Church and Adelaide Streets. In 1852, it was the first Presbyterian church to have organ music. This was very controversial at the time. When that structure became too small, the church purchased the property where it stands today.

Built in 1876, the Romanesque Revival gem, was designed by William Storm. The medieval style of Scottish-influenced architecture is constructed of Georgetown sandstone and features two flank towers facing King St West plus a larger single tower with turrets which faces Simcoe St. The interior elements include rich woods, an organ loft, balcony and beautiful stained-glass windows, including one of the most unique in Canada – the 48th Highlanders window. In the early 1900’s, an ornate chancel (the space around the altar) was added.

St Andrew's Church

St Andrew’s Church at King & Simcoe Sts in Toronto

St Andrew’s Church became of the most influential Presbyterian churches in Canada and in 1890, founded a centre for social work in the city.

At one time, the four corners of King & Simcoe Sts were known as Legislation, Education, Damnation & Salvation:

  • Legislation: Lieutenant Governor’s home on the southwest corner (now Roy Thomson Hall)
  • Education: Upper Canada College on the northwest corner (now Canadian General Electric heritage building)
  • Damnation: British Hotel on the northeast corner (now an office building)
  • Salvation: St Andrew’s Church on the southeast corner

The church is open for self-directed tours, ‪Monday‬ through Friday. For more information or a virtual tour, visit St Andrew’s Church official website.


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