History of Church of Christ the King

In the 1950’s, Etobicoke was growing rapidly and the Church Extension Board of the Diocese had been acquiring land for the church sites in the expanding Diocese of Toronto. One of these was located on Rathburn Road, just west of Highway #427. It was not until the late 50’s that subdivisions of homes were developed; and in 1959, The Rev. David McGuire was transferred from Haliburton as the rector to begin a new parish. Notices of the first service were posted on the telephone poles in the area. A rectory had been purchased at 19 Tunbridge Cres. just north of Burnhamthorpe Road.

1959 – First service was held in a portable church on May 10. A vestry was quickly formed with Bill Pudney and Les Clark names as the first two wardens. Bishop Wilkinson recommended the parish be called The Church of Christ The King; and this was approved in vestry. Average attendance was 71 at morning services and 33 at evening services, during the first year there were 55 baptisms. Sunday School was started in the portable, Briarcrest School and private recreation rooms.

1961 – Sod was turned for a permanent Church on May 14th and the first service was held in the completed building at Christmas.

1963 – Youth activities grew with the start of a Junior Auxilary program, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and an active group of 120 young people attending Sunday evening worship services followed by socials.

1964 – Phase II of the Church building began adding the west wing, the current Chancel and room 2 underneath.

1965 – 704 families and singles were on the parish roll, totaling nearly 2800 people. Confirmation class had 55 candidates. Church School attendance increased with a record number of 402 children on October 31st. Some classes were later held in Church of the Nativity school, our neighbour across the street.

1966 – Sunrise Services on Centennial Hill were started by the Church of Christ the King. This is celebrated with other churches in the area.

1969 – Rev. McGuire left to go to St. Mary’s Richmond Hill. Rev. Ron Davidson was inducted as new rector on December 4th. By the end of 1970, over 40 different groups, both church and community used our buildings on a weekly basis. A new rectory was built on church property, 110 Carsbrooke.

1973 – Memorial Rose Garden was developed. Steve Bell and family undertook the care of it. A small parkette came into being with the Borough of Etobicoke maintaining it for the use of the community.

1974 – Rev. Ron Davidson left to accept an appointment as Rector of Christ Church Deer park. Rev. Ross Woolley took up duties as our new rector.

1979 – 20th Anniversary Year was celebrated. New pews were installed, the cost being covered by special offerings. A program sponsoring a family of “boat people” was completed. The mortgage was discharged.

1990 – Rev. Ross Woolley retired and Assistant Rev. Jim Townley-Smith was appointed priest-in-charge while the search for a new incumbent was under way.

1991 – The Rev. John Philips came to us as our new incumbent, with his wife Florajean, daughter Jennifer(Jenny) and son John William. Revamping of the Narthex ramp made accessibility easier for the physically challenged. Sunday School again expanded to include a nursery, toddler’s room, children’s library and Sunday School Office. Activities extended to include Prayer Chain, Bible Study groups, Gospel Choir for special Services, Pre-marriage courses, Visitation Committee, Worship Committee and many others. With monies left to the Sunday School in memory of Granny Stewart, Marne and Jack Huys purchased figurines for an outdoor Creche which was built by Fred Clements.

2007 Phase One Renovations: In the spring renovations to the Narthex doors were carried out. The old wooden doors were removed and new glass doors were installed. They were moved out about 3 feet. The new doors were made larger to 36″ each side and greatly improved access and made the Narthex brighter. Revisions were in memory of Anne Penny.

In mid summer, work was started to install an elevator at the south doors to provide barrier free access to all 4 levels of the church building. This required removal of the upper kitchen which was replaced by a servery in the lounge. New walkways were installed from the parking lot and from Carsbrooke. New glass doors were also installed with handicapped access to replace the old wooden doors. Work was completed on the elevator by November and Bishop Poole attended a special church service to cut the ribbon.

In late 2008, a motorized screen with projector was installed above the chancel to allow for more contemporary worship services and special presentations. Funds for this were raised from the ‘Beat the Bounds’ projects which consisted of sponsored walks around the parish property.

In January 2009, the main kitchen was completely rebuilt. New cupboards and counter-tops were installed and a new floor was laid. New appliances were also installed. The kitchen renovation came from a bequest and in memory of Bill Fredenburg. A new commercial dishwasher was provided by the ACW. A new refrigerator and other upgraded items especially the sink and faucets were provided by many parishioners.

2009 – 50th anniversary of the parish and was a year of celebrations. Many events were held through out to celebrate this special year with the highlights being a gala dinner and dance and a first visit in December from Archbishop Johnson, the Bishop of Toronto Diocese. Clergy who had been associated with the parish were invited back to preach. Rev. Canon Ron Davidson, a former incumbent gave the sermon on our anniversary Sunday in May.

2010 – In June the Rathburn entrance parking lot was repaved. In December, the large white metal cross on the outside north wall of the church was taken down, refurbished, repainted and reinstalled on Boxing Day.

2011 – The Lounge Windows were replaced. This was made possible by the Hewett family in memory of the late Marjorie Hewett, a founding member of the parish.

2011-2013 saw many changes – 2011 we had a visit from Bishop Poole for our welcome back BBQ and Rev. John Phillips 20th anniversary with the Church as rector. New handrails were installed at the north and south walkways from the parking lot. Previously there had been no handrail at the south entrance. In Feb 2012, a new sign was installed at the Rathburn entrance to replace the old sign which had New sign fallen apart. In early summer of 2012, the pipe organ was overhauled as it was having numerous problems and was done from the ‘in memory fund’ for several recently deceased members of the parish who were involved in the music programs. In July, the lower level wash-rooms were renovated as they were in a state of disrepair after 50 years of use.

2014 – The church saw a new change in the rector as Rev. John Phillips announced his retirement in October after 23 years of service to the church. A great celebration was planned and many from years gone by came to wish John well.

In November we welcomed Rev. Julian Aldous. Julian joins us from New Brunswick, where he lived with his wife, Sarah, and four children. The Rev Julian Aldous and his family spent nine years there, and prior to that, he lived with his family for four years in Kenya doing Ministry work.

2021 – The Rev Julian Aldous retired December 31/2021.

2022- We welcomed The Rev Vernal Savage as interim  priest in charge on January the first 2022.

Christ the King