St. Patricks  Parish's Main Altar

The History of St. Patrick's Toronto

St. Patrick's Parish on McCaul Street in Downtown Toronto is the city's fifth oldest parish. St. Patrick subway station and the adjacent St. Patrick St. were named after the church. St. Patrick's is the home of the Canadian Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The German-speaking Catholic community in Toronto holds services in the church as well.  The timeline of the parish's is history is as follows:

1850 - St. Patrick's established as a Mission Church - served by St. Michael's and St. Mary's parishes.

1867 - St. Patrick Gothic Church (presently Mount Carmel Church) built to replace the wooden church.

1881 - The Redemptorists were given charge of St. Patrick's.

1881 - Dec. 4: The pictrure of Our Mother of Perpetual Help arrived from Rome. The Church was filled to overflowing.

1886 - Laying of the corner stone of the present church. The Romanesque Revival church was designed by architect Arthur W. Holmes. 

1905 - In September: Blessing of the corner stone.

1905 - In November: Dedication of St. Patrick's by Archbishop McEvay.

1908 - "Old St. Patrick's" became Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, for the Italian congregation.

St. Patrick's began as a mission from St. Michael's Cathedral, but was given its own parish  boundaries in 1861. After the Redemptorists preached a mission at St. Michael's in 1880, they were invited to take charge of St. Patrick's. This they did in 1881. St. Patrick's became a centre for many ministries: Germans and other immigrants, parish missions and retreats, confessions of religious, hospital chaplaincies, devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. As the headquarters for the Vice-Province and Province when these were established, it was also the scene of much administration and the works that flowed from that.  In many ways, it was the Province's "Mother House". The present rectory on McCaul St. was built in 1886, the present church in 1908.