A Short History

Celebrating 130 Years in 2019

Since May 1889, Mimico Presbyterian Church has given an enduring witness to the salvation of Jesus Christ on the lakeshore.  That is when Donald Hendry donated the northwest corner of his farm in Mimico for the building of the church, which was dedicated on the 10th of May 1891.

In 1908 the growth of the community and the congregation necessitated larger facilities.  With Scottish ingenuity and economy, instead of erecting an entirely new building, a basement was dug,

 and the original building was moved over it, lengthened and faced with brick.  This building is still standing, attached to the new building.  Now known as Donald Hendry Hall, and recently upgraded to modern standards, it is used for various outreach activities of the church.

After the Second World War, the baby boom made the old building inadequate and the present, distinctive A-frame church was dedicated in February 1959.  With a ridge line sixty-five feet in the air, it has become a landmark of the area.

After Mimico Presbyterian Church had functioned for a period as a mission charge, the first minister, the Reverend Alexander MacMillan was called and inducted in  

December 1892.  Rev. MacMillan’s son, Ernest (later Sir Ernest MacMillan, longtime conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music), was born in the manse and baptized in the church.

The Reverend Alexander MacMillan was an expert in the study of hymns and after serving here for two separate periods, left to become secretary of the committee to compile the new hymn book, The Book of Praise (1917). Charged, at the height of the First World War, with taking the completed book to England for publication, he sewed the manuscript inside his coat in case his ship was sunk by the Germans.

Beside the morning and evening worship services at the church, , an afternoon service was held every Sunday at the “Asylum” (The Ontario Psychiatric Hospital – now part of Humber College). 

1925 saw the formation of the United Church of Canada, an amalgamation of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist denominations.  By a narrow vote, the Mimico congregation joined the union.  Those wishing to continue as Presbyterians withdrew and continued to hold services, first at the Orange Hall and then in St Andrew’s Hall.  The Unionists soon vacated the building, to join with the Wesley Mimico United Church down the road.  After some negotiations the Continuing Presbyterians bought back the building and resumed services there in 1929.

During the tribulation of the depression, Mimico Presbyterian formed a joint charge, sharing a minister for several years with St. Andrew’s Islington Presbyterian Church.

The area around Mimico has seen many changes in recent years. In response to the new demographic realities, in 1994, the congregations of Mimico, Logan Geggie, and Parklawn Churches amalgamated to form the present Mimico Presbyterian Church.  Mimico was later joined by the congregations of Alderwood and St James Churches.

So Mimico continues as it began: the only Presbyterian Church west of the Humber River and south of Dundas Street.