Walmer Road Baptist Church has been here facing the little park on Walmer Road since 1889 when the Annex (as this area is called) was a new Suburb spilling over the northern Bloor Street boundary of Toronto into what had been farm land below Spadina hill. It was a church attending era. Located in the centre of a residential district, it was not unreasonable for a church community of 250 to build a house of worship which would seat 1200 people in a magnificent sanctuary. And Elmore Harris, the first minister here, was no small dreamer, for, in this building, he founded a Bible College that is now what is known as Tyndale University. The halcyon years at Walmer, so they tell us, were in the days of John MacNeill, minister of the Church from 1906 to 1930 when the membership became 2000, and you had to be here early to get a seat for the Sunday evening service! But then Toronto began to grow, to spread to suburb after suburb, and people became mobile and the Annex began to change... until, by the 1960s Walmer stood in a diversified, international community of apartment buildings and rooming houses, family dwellings and high-rises, and most of its members commuters. more...
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