Recently, I was driving along a section of St Clair Avenue East in Toronto’s east end and I experienced a major ‘rubber necker’ episode. I am not of the common variety, ‘bad situation rubber necker’ but what made me turn my head was a great piece of architecture. The building that I found so interesting was a church – Clairlea Park Presbyterian Church. This church was not a large cathedral style church with high stained glass windows but rather a very simple, quietly understated church. Its style is very contemporary in design and that is what appealed to me. It was built in 1956 and still looks very present day modern. Very cool! The only windows on the east side are transom windows that sit right under the eaves. The windows on the west side are of the same design as the clerestory windows but they run vertically instead of horizontally. The windows were not stained glass but simple plain glass. The roof is flat with only a slight slope which is unusual for a church. (think gothic or mansard roof) This church had a ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’ feel to it. I got back into my car and travelled a little east along St Clair Avenue and had another ‘rubber necker’ episode. Thank goodness there was no traffic on this particular day!! The second church that make me stop was – Scarborough Church of God. Now by contrast to the first church this one was very different. This also was not a large church but the pitch on this church roof was so steep it was incredible. There are 5 dormers at the base of the roof with coloured glass windows. Not stained glass. Very clean and simple. The church was built in 1958. Its style is Mid Century Modern. I thought it was very interesting that two churches located so close to each other could be so unique in design. They both warranted a closer look. Now I am curious about what both the interiors look like so you know where I will be some Sunday in the near future!
Very cool churches and interesting history. Thanks