The afternoon of All Hallows’ Eve found me wandering solo through the streets of downtown Toronto with my camera in hand, looking for inspiration.
No, I wasn’t looking for people in outlandish costumes, although I did see many of those. Living in a large city however, that’s not necessarily unusual at any time of year.
I was on a quest to find more of Toronto’s heritage buildings and it was a very successful venture. Today, I feature one of those treasures.
The Metropolitan United Church was built in 1872, and you wouldn’t know it from my photo, but apparently it was built with white brick. I would have said it was probably yellow not white, but what do I know, except that the daily grime of a city starts to build up on everything.
I’m assuming the wire mesh over the 3 upper windows of the main entrance was intended to prevent pigeons from roosting there, but the mesh does not detract from the gorgeous view from the inside.
Luckily I was in this area while the church was open because once inside, I was delighted to find a trio of beautiful doors in the entrance.
The body of the church had a stunning display of stained glass windows lining both sides of the building. No, you won’t find any photos of those windows here. My photography skills aren’t even remotely good enough to do them justice.
As spectacular as the windows were, it was the backdrop to the altar (do they call it an altar in the Methodist church?) that captured my attention as soon as I stepped inside.
In spite of how it looks, I did not lay on the floor to take this photo. It is common to have the chancel raised from the congregation, but this one was much higher than I’ve ever seen before.
Apparently the Metropolitan United Church boasts the largest pipe organ in Canada, but unfortunately I did not get to see it. Nor was I able to visit the carillon which would have been very impressive. A typical carillon holds 23 bells, but the Metropolitan has 54 bells.
I did however find the narrow door leading to the carillon tower.
You might be wondering why a fallen Catholic like me, a self-proclaimed agnostic, is interested in poking around old churches.
They provide fascinating touch points in a city’s historical time line.
Canada, as a country, was a mere 5 years old when this church was built. Toronto wasn’t much more than a large, muddy town. When viewed through the eyes of the time period, the construction of buildings like this one would have been magnificent to the citizens of the day for the authority and grandeur they represented. In fact, they still do today.
It makes the current sprouting of plain glass and concrete condo buildings everywhere pale in comparison.
Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.