Neighbourhood churches may fill some gaps…

Little Trinity Church, Toronto ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Sackville Street School displays a memorial for World War I, but none for World War II. Little Trinity (Anglican) Church, a three-minute walk (270 metres) northwest of the school, fills some gaps in the neighbourhood history. Of the 581 parishioners involved in World War I, 70 died. A cenotaph beside the church honours them, though no names are listed. Of 55 parish men who “went to fight” in the Second World War, five died and are named on a plaque on the inside west wall of the church.

“Little Trinity,” the nickname of the Parish of Trinity East in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, is at 425 King Street East. The congregation, formed July 12, 1842 first served the needs of working-class Irish Protestants in Toronto’s east end.

The parish reflects some of the contrasts found in Toronto neighbourhoods. In the 1840s one of the church founders, a major benefactor and 35-year churchwarden, William Gooderham (1790-1881) a partner in the prosperous Gooderham and Worts Distillery, attended this church “in the centre of a thickly inhabited and spiritually destitute suburb… containing about 3,000 people, chiefly of the poorest classes.” The church rectory at times prepared soup for the needy.

War memorial in Little Trinity Church, Toronto. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

The church is planning a restoration of historic townhouses at 399 King Street East, on the west side of its property. The townhouses, built about 1850, were part of a row of workers’ houses. The interiors will be updated, but the original façade will be preserved, giving present day Toronto a glimpse of its past. See the church’s website for info on this Building Renewal Project.

And remember to check nearby churches (all denominations) wherever you are researching “For King and Country” details.

Townhouses on King Street, Toronto, to be restored by Little Trinity Church. (from display in church)

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