How old is the church?
Not many churches have as interesting or intriguing history as Emmanuel-Howard Park United Church nor as many cornerstones.
It all started back in 1884 when a group of people got together to worship. By February, 1890 a congregation would be formally organized and comprised of 34 people in a building called the Ruth Street Mission (in 1894 changed to Fern Avenue Presbyterian Church) on Ruth Street (now known as Fern Avenue).
After outgrowing its first building, a property was secured at the corner of Wright and Roncesvalles Avenues. The name was changed to High Park Presbyterian Church and dedicated in 1910. They entered the Union in 1925, but because there was already a High Park United Church, the name was changed to Erskine United Church.
In 1927 the church was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1928. Meanwhile, in 1889 a small group of Methodists began planning a church and in 1890, began Methodists Mission Services in a house on Garden Avenue. After using a couple of temporary locations and naming themselves St. Alban’s Methodist Church, a new church was dedicated at the corner of Sorauren and Galley Avenues in 1909 and was named North Parkdale Methodist Church. After Union in 1925 it became known as North Parkdale United Church.
Further to the North, another group of Methodists in 1908 began planning a new congregation under the name of Boustead Methodist Church and after using a former schoolhouse, their new church at the corner of Marmaduke and Sunnyside Avenues was dedicated as Howard Park Methodist Church in 1911. After Union in 1925, it became known as Howard Park United Church.
The first merger of the above three mentioned congregations took place on January 15, 1961, when North Parkdale and Erskine joined together as Emmanuel United Church. North Parkdale was sold to St. Georges Greek-Orthodox parish.
The last merger was finalized in 1969 with the amalgamation of Howard Park United with Emmanuel United to form Emmanuel-Howard Park United Church. Howard Park United was sold to the Italian Pentecostals.
This information is taken from “Our Cloud of Witnesses” by Hugh D. McKellar, a 100 year history of the three churches that make Emmanuel-Howard Park United Church. Mr. McKellar is occasionally our guest organist.