Founded in 1892 within the Methodist Church, the Toronto United Church Council has served the church and society within the City of Toronto and York Region since its inception. In its earliest years, the Council attended to giving leadership to new church development, to establishing outreach ministries (the Fred Victor Mission among them), and to providing financial relief to "embarrassed churches".
In the 1920's and 1930's, the emphasis continued on city missions, social services, and the development and expansion of camping programs for children and youth. The 1940's and into the 1960's were years of massive church expansion. Council was involved in the building of 54 new churches and Christian education additions in this three decade period. During the 1970's and 1980's, the mandate shifted to the redevelopment of older churches and responding to the needs of the growing suburbs of Scarborough, Vaughan and Richmond Hill. Throughout the 1990's, Council focused on ways to assist Presbyteries in their mission strategy work and in 1992 expanded its service area beyond the city to include Grey, Dufferin & Peel, Muskoka, and Simcoe Presbyteries. In 2001, the Investing in Ministry Fund was established to help congregations and missions help each other. In 2008, the Dufferin & Peel Presbytery Extension Council merged with Council and together they formed an even stronger corporation to meet the needs of the church today.
In the Partnerships & Council At Work sections of our website, you will find that Council takes its lead from the interests and needs of the congregations. As in the past, it involves caring for the poor through the support of social services, outreach endeavours and the construction of affordable housing. Its partnerships include long associations with the Fred Victor Centre, the Massey Centre, Hillcrest Lodge, and the Toronto Christian Resource Centre. Council's long history with camping began first with the operation of the camps and now with its ownership of four campsites and its partnership with the Board of Directors of Camp Big Canoe, Camp Simpresca, Lake Scugog Camp, Ryde Lake Camp and Sparrow Lake Camp.
You also are invited to read Empowering our Church to Dream - Enabling it to Serve written by Alanna Mitchell. This history introduces readers to the personalities and projects that have made the Council an integral part of life and work of The United Church of Canada.