100 years ago, the mission church of St. Nicholas began life in a stable on Harvey (now Haig) Avenue in the village of Birch Cliff. In 1916, the stable church suffered a devastating fire, with only the baptismal font and piano being saved. But, as so often happens, from tragedy came opportunity. A new church incorporating the original font was built on Kingston Road just east of Warden. The church of St. Nicholas continues to serve the Birch Cliff community to this day.
Parishioners of St. Nick’s, both past and present, are preparing to journey down memory lane this year and celebrate their centennial in many ways, spiritually and socially.
As part of this celebration, guests including two Archbishops, a Bishop and several former Incumbents will be preaching in almost every month of the year. The highlight however, will be the presence of the Primate of Canada, The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz at the Homecoming Service on Sunday, June 10. This visit by the head of the Anglican Church of Canada is eagerly anticipated, as it will be the first visit of a Primate to the church in 25 years.
June is particularly significant for St Nick’s as it was in that month in 1912 that the decision to establish a mission church was made, on June 12 and the first service was held, on June 25. Big plans and preparations are underway for a gala dinner and dance on June 9 at Ellas Banquet Hall. The event will give everyone in attendance an opportunity to celebrate and look back on 100 years. All are welcome and advance tickets may be purchased through the church office at 416-691-0449 for $40 per person.
A mere two weeks later, on June 24, St Nicholas Birch Cliff is hosting a benefit concert by the Bach Children’s Chorus. This concert is a fundraiser, with all the proceeds going to the Churches by the Bluffs Foodbank. Tickets will be available in May by calling the church office.
Rounding out our summer events, a Heritage Toronto plaque recognizing the historic importance and contribution of St. Nicholas to the Birch Cliff community will be unveiled on August 9, the date of the dedication of the original stable church.
Then, to kick off the fall season, on Saturday, Sept. 29 we are planning an old-fashioned street party. Fun activities for kids will be one of the highlights of this neighbourhood festival.
Visit our website at www.stnicholasbirchcliff.com for all our planned events and a complete list of special speakers and dates.