Monday, October 3, 2016

St George’s Greek Orthodox Church, Toronto

As the "mother church" of the Greek diaspora in Canada, Saint George's holds a special place in the hearts and souls of the Orthodox faithful. Founded in 1909 by Toronto’s early Greek immigrant pioneers. Saint George is the oldest Greek Orthodox community in Canada and, up until 1961, the only Greek Orthodox Church in the city of Toronto.

A veritable jewel in the crown of Greek Orthodoxy, the church of Saint George stands as a dynamic affirmation of the spiritual and artistic achievement of the Byzantine religious tradition. Like many architectural landmarks in the city of Toronto, Saint George's church has seen several changes to its structure over the last century. Built in 1897 by the Canadian architect John Wilson Siddall the building functioned as a synagogue until 1937 when it was acquired by the parish of Saint George. The present state of the building reflects alterations undertaken during the period 1981-1987. With the exception of its Romanesque façade and few Moorish capitals the renovated edifice is now more thoroughly Byzantine in its layout and aesthetic decor. The church interior is unique in being the only one outside of Greece to have been painted in its entirety by the Pachomaioi monks, Theophilos and Chrysostomos, master iconographers from Mount Athos, Greece.[1]

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