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1. Akron Plan
The Akron Plan is an architectural design for the Sunday school area in church buildings consisting of a central rotunda (or auditorium) with individual radiating classrooms on one or two levels encircling a podium or lectern. These classrooms are separated from the rotunda by large sliding or folding doors that, when open, expose the classrooms to the central space. The design is named for the city of Akron, Ohio, where it was first used at First Methodist Episcopal Church (1866-70). Developed in response to the needs of the mid-19th-century Sunday school movement, the Akron Plan is a versatile design that allows Sunday school students to participate in elements of the service or receive communal instruction when the doors are open – or undertake individual class instruction when they are closed. This dual function was well suited to the Uniform Lessons system, adopted by Sunday schools throughout the United States and Canada in the latter part of the 19th century. Within this system, each grade and each class in all participating schools followed the same weekly curriculum throughout the year. As in public schools, students were separated into graded classes. Every child, therefore, received a lesson on the same topic each Sunday – but one geared toward their particular age group. The Akron Plan allowed classes to participate together during some portions of the lesson, then efficiently section off during others. The Uniform Lesson system declined in popularity throughout the course of the 20th century and Akron Plan churches, expensive and complicated to design and build, dwindled in number.

7 record(s) found
2. Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians)
The Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians) was established in France in 1822 as a clandestine organization devoted to the education of priests following the dissolution of seminaries during the French Revolution. In 1850, Basilian Fathers were invited to Canada by Bishop Charbonnel of Toronto – himself a former student of the Basilian school in Annonay, France – to undertake the education of Catholic youth within the diocese. Two years later, they founded St. Michael’s College in Toronto, which taught boys at the high school and university levels. In 1881, St. Michael’s College affiliated with the University of Toronto. St. Michael’s is one of the oldest colleges within the University of Toronto’s federation; it continues to have a distinctively Catholic character. In 1929, Basilians at St. Michael’s College created the world-renowned Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies that houses one of the largest collections of medieval documentation in North America. Basilian Fathers have also had a significant presence in Windsor. In 1870, the Basilians took charge of both the Assumption College in Sandwich (Windsor), which had previously been run by Jesuits, and of the historic Assumption Parish – the oldest Catholic parish west of Montreal. Assumption University continues to be run by Basilians. It is now affiliated with the University of Windsor. Basilian Fathers have also established parishes in Amherstburg, Chatham, Owen Sound and Toronto, and have been active in communities throughout the province. They have educated numerous future priests, bishops and archbishops, as well as thousands of lay people. In addition to running parishes and schools, Basilian Fathers have chaplaincies in many Ontario universities. Though founded in France, the Congregation of St. Basil now has its curial offices in Toronto.

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3. Evangelism and Evangelicals in Canada
Evangelism began in 18th-century England as a Christian denomination with emphasis on conversion and personal piety. Canadian Evangelism began with Rev. Henry Alline (1748-84), an American preacher who brought the “Great Awakening” religious revival to Nova Scotia. In the 19th century, the Evangelical movement in Canada was divided amongst “radical Evangelicals” (Baptists and Methodists) and “formal Evangelicals” (Protestants and Anglicans). After the War of 1812, anti-American sentiment pushed radical Evangelism to the periphery of Canadian church life, while formal Evangelical Protestantism became the primary denomination in the country. Throughout the 20th century, Evangelism in Canada declined as Christianity slowly lost its dominance in society and increased immigration to Canada diversified the population. New Evangelical denominations arose in Canada, including Pentecostals, the Salvation Army, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. As the Evangelists' dominance in Canadian society waned, previously estranged Evangelical groups banded together over shared beliefs and concerns. In 1964, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada was formed. Despite differences over various points of doctrine and worship, their fundamental concern for doctrinal orthodoxy, belief in the development of personal piety, and commitment to evangelism united the disparate groups.

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4. Highland clearances
During the 18th and 19th centuries, several waves of mass evictions forced Scottish Highlanders off their lands. These clearances resulted in emigration to the Scottish Lowlands, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

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5. Huronia
Huronia refers to the region occupied by the Huron prior to the Iroquois Wars. The region was bordered by Nottawasaga Bay to the west and Lake Simcoe to the east – in the northern part of what is now Simcoe County. The term did not come into common usage until the 19th century and is generally applied to the period of contact between the Huron and the French.

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6. Loyalist Settlers in Ontario
Loyalists were American colonists who supported Britain during the American Revolution (1775-1783). During and after the Revolution, Loyalists faced persecution in the United States. They were subjected to harassment, intimidation, imprisonment and many had their property confiscated. The British government offered land grants to Loyalists willing to relocate to British North America. It is estimated that in the years following the Revolution, close to 10,000 Loyalists arrived in Ontario. They were a heterogeneous group that included Catholic Highlanders, Scottish Presbyterians, German Calvinists, German Lutherans, Quakers, Aboriginals, former slaves, Methodists, Congregationalists and Anglicans of English origin. Loyalist settlements were generally segregated according to ethnicity and religion. There were sizable Loyalist communities at Long Point on Lake Erie, in the Niagara Peninsula and in Essex County. Joseph Brant led nearly 2,000 Loyalist Iroquois to a settlement along the Grand River. On its banks, Anglican Mohawks constructed Ontario’s oldest surviving church, the Mohawk Chapel, in 1785. The majority of Loyalists settled in the newly surveyed townships along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. A group of Methodists settled in Adolphustown and, in 1792, erected the Old Hay Bay Church – Canada’s oldest surviving Methodist building. Scottish Catholic Loyalists who settled in Glengarry and Stormont counties formed a parish and constructed St. Andrew’s Church in 1801. Before parishes were established and churches built, Loyalist faithful worshiped in private homes – often with laypeople conducting the services. When most Loyalists arrived, in the 1780s, the territory that is now Ontario was a sparsely inhabited wilderness that was part of the province of Quebec. Its laws and institutions were largely those that had been established under French rule. Loyalists, however, were defined by their desire for a British system of government. To accommodate them, the province of Upper Canada (now Ontario) was created in 1791. Upper Canada was given a legislative assembly and the province operated under British Common Law. Loyalists played a large role in shaping Ontario’s cultural identity and contributed greatly to its religious diversity.

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7. Northern Ontario's Resource Communities
As railways, and then highways, opened up remote areas of the province to industry and settlement from the late 19th century onward, there emerged a number of communities in northern Ontario that developed around the exploitation of a single natural resource. These communities were created for the purpose of mining one of the many metals and minerals embedded in the Canadian Shield – such as gold silver nickel, copper and uranium – or logging the region’s vast boreal forests. Whether they were built around the extraction of minerals or forest products, these single-resource communities shared several common features. The communities’ economies were not diversified enough to encourage growth and they therefore remained relatively small. This was primarily due to the fact that raw materials were typically sent elsewhere for processing. Additionally, the costs of developing adjunct industries were high in these usually isolated areas. The extraction or development of the resources upon which these communities relied was usually the initiative of an outside corporation or government. The communities’ inhabitants, therefore, had little control over their own economic development and were largely excluded from decision-making processes. Key decisions were often made in the economic interests of the controlling enterprises rather than the health of the local community. Because these communities tended to arise in sparsely inhabited areas, the workforce/population was not drawn from local communities but was brought in from further abroad – often from outside the county. Therefore, pockets of ethnic groups existed within the communities – such as Poles, Ukrainians, Italians and French-Canadians – who brought with them their customs, religions and languages. Religion was typically a central aspect of their national identities and religious institutions played an integral role in helping newcomers establish themselves in Ontario. Churches were built and clergy was brought in to meet the specific needs of these ethnic groups. Unfortunately, the narrowness of their economies made these single-resource communities especially susceptible to the boom and bust of market fluctuations. Over time, many of them have diminished significantly in size or vanished altogether.

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8. Oblates of Mary Immaculate
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate is a Roman Catholic men’s religious order founded in 1816 by Saint Eugene de Mazenod in France. They are primarily a missionary order dedicated to working with the poor. The Oblates’ constitution cites the “evangelization of the most abandoned” as a central focus of their ministry. Oblates are known for their work with immigrants, minorities and First Nations communities. Pope Pius XI called the Oblates “specialists in difficult missions.” The order came to Canada in 1841 at the invitation of Bishop Bourget of Montreal. Seven years later, Oblate Fathers founded Bytown College, which became the University of Ottawa in 1866. Oblates currently operate Saint Paul University within the University of Ottawa federation. Saint Paul University has a pontifical charter to grant ecclesiastical degrees. Oblates have been particularly active in western Canada and were responsible for establishing the Catholic Church in the northwest. From the 1870s to the 1980s, Oblates operated numerous residential schools for First Nations children across the country, including several in northern Ontario. The residential school system – run by many different religious groups and denominations – has since been the subject of much criticism and contention. Oblates are particularly active in Canada’s Polish immigrant communities. The Oblate’s Assumption Province – created in 1956 to serve Polish-Canadian Catholics – has its headquarters in Toronto.

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9. Ontario's Catholic School System
Generations of Ontario Catholics have considered education and religion to be inextricably linked. Catholics in the 19th and early 20th centuries believed that a state-supported, accessible Catholic education system was integral to the very survival of their faith in Protestant-dominated Ontario. The Catholic school system in Ontario had its beginnings with the Schools Act of 1841. This act created a public school system in the United Provinces of Canada and contained a clause allowing Catholics and other religious minorities to establish their own denominational schools. The following decades witnessed a proliferation of Catholic schools and institutions throughout the province. Despite the sectarian hostility, linguistic conflict and chronic lack of funding that plagued its development during the latter half of the century, the Catholic school system persevered, largely because its right to exist had been entrenched in the British North America Act (1867). During the 20th century, Ontario’s Catholic school system faced a number of challenges. The influx of Catholics from southern and central Europe who arrived after the Second World War and the baby boom that occurred simultaneously put a severe strain on the school system’s resources. Furthermore, suburbanization necessitated the creation of numerous new schools in new neighbourhoods and a decline in religious orders meant that many lay teachers had to be hired. A combination of political agitation and community support enabled the school system to overcome these issues. In 1997, the provincial government assumed sole responsibility of the funding of Catholic schools.

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10. Society for the Propagation of the Gospels
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospels in Foreign Parts (SPG) was a missionary society affiliated with the Church of England. It was created in 1701 to support the establishment of the Church in Britain’s American colonies and to evangelize the continent’s Native population. After the American Revolution (1775-1783), the SPG withdrew from the United States and focused its attention on British North America, where they became hugely influential. They sent missionaries, paid clergy, supported the construction of churches and provided advice and expertise to the colonial church. Between 1702 and 1900, the SPG sent nearly 400 clergymen to Ontario. Despite the fact that they saved the colonial church from numerous crises, the SPG’s activities in Canada were fraught with difficulties. The society was directed by a secretary who was based in London and usually had little understanding of the hardships that faced the colonial church. Friction between colonial bishops and SGP secretaries was common. Colonial bishops were continually frustrated by the fact that although they had jurisdiction over activities in their dioceses, the SPG often held the purse strings. The SPG’s influence in Canada began to wane in the later half of the 19th century as their funding declined. It wasn’t until 1940, however, that the Anglican Church in Canada decided to forgo all further SPG grants.

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