200th Anniversary Events

1816 – 2016: 200 Years at St. John’s York Mills

St. John's York Mills - Glory to God from generation to generation

On September 17, 1816, the first members of St. John’s York Mills laid the cornerstone of their first church building. That made September 17, 2016 our two hundredth birthday!

During 2016 we engaged in a variety of events and projects to celebrate this milestone, looking back at the story of the church and at the events that shaped the world around it. On our anniversary Sunday, September 18, we recreated an 1800s-era service of Morning Prayer, complete with (an excerpt of) a sermon by Bishop John Strachan.

Click here to read more about our history. Click here to see a complete list of the events.

Highlights from the Anniversary Year

Thursday November 10: Ted Barris in An Evening at Vimy

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a major and costly victory in World War I that many see as a defining event in Canada’s identity as a nation.

On November 10, noted historian Ted Barris was joined by a student winner of the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize. Both gave talks about their experiences and knowledge of this event that changed attitudes and ideals of Canadians in the years that followed. (Note: Celebrated Vimy Memorial sculptor Walter Allward is buried in our churchyard.)

Great Gulf Doors Open Toronto

On May 28 and 29, Torontonians came in to walk around, talk with members and learn more about us as part of the 2016 Toronto Doors Open event. Visitors learned about architectural elements dating from 1848 to 2015 and enjoyed displays of artifacts from our history. Others took self-guided tours of the churchyard, visiting the resting places of notable parishioners of the past. Read more about the event here.

Anniversary Service — Nineteenth Century Morning Prayer

On Sunday, September 18, we re-enacted a service as it was done in the 1800s, complete with period costumes, props and an extract from a sermon preached in 1816. Click to watch highlights.

Anniversary Service — A Service of Thanksgiving

On Sunday, September 18, we celebrated our 200th anniversary with a modern service of thanksgiving and joy, with music by the band, choir, handbell ringers and organist, and with a message from the Archbishop. Click to watch highlights.

Special publication: 200 Years at St. John’s York Mills

200 Years at St. John’s York Mills by Scott Kennedy with Jeanne Hopkins brings the history of our church up to date, telling the wonderful stories of St. John’s with emphasis on the past 50 years, from 1966. At 344 pages with 260 photos, this softcover book is a treasure! If you would like a copy, it’s available for $50 from the church office. Call or email 416-225-6611 or welcome@sjym.ca.

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