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 put on a variety of events and projects to celebrate this milestone – from a look at the events that shaped our world, to looking back at the story of the church, to recreating an 1800s-era service on the anniversary day, September 18.

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 on an Evening of Vimy

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was not only a major but costly victory in World War I, it was 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.)

Doors Open Toronto

On May 28 and 29, we welcomed Toronto to walk about our church, talk with us, and learn more about us, as part of the Toronto Doors Open 2016 event. Visitors wandered about our church building where they viewed architectural elements dating from 1848 to 2015. They also took in displays that showcased our history, and went on guided tours of the churchyard where they learned about 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.

New Book: 200 Years at St. John’s York Mills

In honour of St. John’ anniversary, a new book has been published: 200 Years at St. John’s York Mills by Scott Kennedy with Jeanne Hopkins. This book brings the history of the church up to date, telling the wonderful stories of St. John’s with emphasis on the past 50 years, from 1966. The book is 344 pages with 260 photos, is softcover, and is available for $50 a copy at the church office, 416-225-6611 or welcome@sjym.ca.

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