Our History

Calvary Church began in 1928 when Rev. William A. Nisbet, a pastor from Ireland, was asked to pastor a new church. The church was then known as St. John’s Evangelical Church. The original location for the church was in Beulah Hall on Charles St. E. The new congregation realized that they would need a building of their own, so in 1929 a suitable site was found for a basement church at its present location, 746 Pape Avenue.

In 1935, the church joined the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada. In 1941, the name of the church was changed to Calvary Church.

Here are the pastors who have served at the church since its inception:

  • 1928-1932/1934-1941 Rev. William A. Nisbet
  • 1933-1934 Rev. J. Fisher Anderson
  • 1943-1956 Dr. Stewart L. Boehmer
  • 1958-1966 Rev. Arthur P. Lee
  • 1967-1990 Rev. Gerald Griffiths
  • 1992-2001 Rev. Ian Campbell
  • 2003-2013 Rev. Tom Lambshead
  • 2014-Present Pastor Daniel Winter

From the beginning, Calvary Church has been strongly committed to children’s outreach. In 1962, a new Christian Education Building was built, containing a gymnasium and Sunday school classroom space. The church also began a Sunday morning church service on radio, from which sprang “A Visit with Mrs. G”, a children’s Bible story program that is now heard all over the world. On December 19, 2021, a six-year project to  create the Kingdom Kids Children’s Centre was completed. The Centre hosts our children’s Sunday school and Awana programs.

In 1973, the church built Nisbet Lodge, a home for senior citizens. It is located right next door to the church. In 1993, McClintock Manor was built beside Nisbet Lodge. It is a nonprofit apartment building for independent seniors.

Calvary Church has been concerned with reaching out to other vulnerable members of the Toronto community and beyond. In 1994, the church hosted an Out of the Cold Program (now called Community Dinner) which serves hot meals during the winter months. In 2017, the church partnered with the Associated Gospel Churches to become a sponsorship agreement holder for refugees.

The church has also had the privilege of being the “home” for Greek, Spanish, Italian and Ethiopian congregations at various points in its history.

We are thankful for 95 years of history and look forward to what God has in store for us in the future!

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