Liturgy tourism - Toronto
  • Reval
    Posts: 150
    You all have helped me so much in the past. Any suggestions for above-average liturgy in Toronto - July 2nd? I will be staying near the Danforth, if that helps (I don't know Toronto very well, but will be staying with relatives). Wonderful architecture is a plus.
  • If you can, Holy Family Parish of St Phillip Neri Oratory has an EF Mass at 11 AM, 1372 King St West. Also available is St Vincent de Paul Parish of the same oratory, 9:30 AM, EF. Low Mass, however. 263 Roncesvalles Ave. If none of that will work, there's always the Cathedral Basilica. Choirs are out for the summer as of last weekend, but still great to visit.
    Thanked by 2Reval canadash
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 5,109
    If you are a Willan fan you may wish to visit his very own church, St Mary Magdalene - just to see and breath where his music was born and sung - maybe even play his organ!
    Get in touch with Felipe Gaspar, our forum member, who now lives in Toronto with his new bride and would be glad to 'show you around'.
    Thanked by 2Reval canadash
  • Reval
    Posts: 150
    Thank you both! That's a good tip about St. Mary Magdalene. I don't think I ought to touch the organ, MJO, since I am a string player! : ) I may go there for a musical pilgrimage, if not Mass.

    This is why I love this forum!
  • You could try contacting Andrew Addair, he's the music director at St. Mary Magdalene. He could show you around the church. I'm not sure what his contact is but it should be on their website.
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • Kevin814
    Posts: 19
    Although it's an Anglican church, St Thomas on Huron Street is well-known throughout Canada for excellent music and thoughtful liturgy. In addition to morning services, they have Solemn Evensong and Benediction on Sunday evenings (I think it's year-round, but worth verifying just in case I'm wrong).
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,204
    I think liturgically a lot has been covered. If you have extra time, you can check out the "Whole Note" magazine. You may find something of interest there. Click on the "click to read" icon on the left: https://www.thewholenote.com/

    I hope you have a lovely visit!
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 723
    I don’t know who this “Felipe Gaspar” person is that Jackson refers to ;-), but I have been in Torontoland for a bit and second the recommendation for Holy Family on King St.

    Our Lady of Sorrows (in Etobicoke) also has a nice organ and is quite pretty, though liturgically it’s nothing especial. The Basilica of St. Paul (east side of downtown) is very pretty and has a nice organ. My own parish, St. Joseph in Mississauga, is pretty solid, too.

    St. James Cathedral (Anglican) is the only area church that has a fully professional choir for Eucharist and Evensong every Sunday. I highly recommend Evensong in particular, as it’s rare to hear it sung someplace where the singers do it each week. There’s a different “vibe”, I think, at places where it’s a part of the community’s weekly worship life.

    St. Mary Magdalene is a different place from what Dr. Willan knew. They remodeled shortly after he passed, and today both the nave and the organ are pretty thoroughly “wreck-ovated”. I think their choir also takes the summer off.

    If you want more details, PM me.
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 723
    On another note, there are quite a few Eastern Catholic parishes around the area. There’s a Coptic Catholic church (Holy Family, not to be confused with the one on King), I think Ethiopian Catholic, and a good number of Ukrainians. I think there’s Syrian, too, and I would think others. If you’ve not had the chance to visit an Eastern liturgy, I highly recommend it.
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,204
    Yes to St. James and yes to the Eastern Catholic parishes if only to look at the gorgeous artwork! Also, St. Anne's Anglican has important artwork too, painted by some of the "Group of Seven" known for their Canadian landscapes.

    And unfortunately, I must agree with Felipe... I would pass on St. Mary Magdalene.
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • I can solidly recommend St. Joseph's, however, their choirs are out after this weekend. If you're already around, we'll be singing Ego Sum Panis a 4 by Palestrina and Be Thou My Vision arr. John Rutter. PM me for a full hymn list.
    Thanked by 2Reval canadash
  • Just FYI, Holy Family just had a change in music director. Mr. Philip Fournier has moved to Maine to pursue novel writing, and Dr. Aaron James comes as his replacement. Dr. James, as I hear from many people, is a well-respected musician and choral director. You may want to look him up on Google.
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • Reval
    Posts: 150
    Trying to figure out one other option - it looks like there is a St. Thomas More parish, that is Anglican use. It appears to also be at the oratory on Roncesvalle Ave. Wondering if anyone knows more about that?
  • http://www.oratory-toronto.org/spn_st__vincent_de_paul_church.html
    St. Thomas More is really just a parish organization which uses the building of St. Vincent de Paul Church. This is the same church with the 9:30 AM Low Mass, and the Ordinariate Use Mass is at 12:30.
    Thanked by 2Reval canadash
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 454
    On another note, there are quite a few Eastern Catholic parishes around the area. ...and a good number of Ukrainians.

    If you have a car, the most notable of the Ukrainian Churches for liturgy is St. Elias in the suburb of Brampton, Ontario. They have Vespers on Saturdays at 7 PM in addition to Sunday morning services. Their choir is quite good.
  • I'd be curious to know where you went for Sunday Mass, Reval. The liturgy scene is quite limited, though there are a few gems.