The Toronto United Church Council was founded in 1892 by the Methodist Church and, from its inception, served the church and society within the City of Toronto and York Region. In its earliest years through to the 1920's and 1930's, the Council attended to establishing and managing effective outreach ministries, giving leadership to new church development, providing financial relief to "embarrassed churches", overseeing fresh-air camping, and, during the depression, operating a distribution service for much needed food and clothing.
The 1940's into the 1960's were years of massive church growth. Council contributed land, capital, and the use of portable start-up buildings to the 54 congregations that were established or expanded in this three decade period. During the 1970's and 1980's, the mandate shifted to supporting redevelopment of older churches and responding to the needs of the growing suburbs of Scarborough, Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill. In 1992, Council extended is service area to all the Presbyteries of Toronto Conference and over the next 12 years provided $1,160,000 in grants to them for their priority mission strategy work. In 2001, the Investing in Ministry Fund was established to enable individuals, congregations and mission units to directly invest in the work of the United Church. In 2008, the Dufferin & Peel Presbytery Extension Council and Toronto United Church Council merged and together they formed an even stronger corporation to meet the needs of the church today.
Today, Council continues to be involved in caring for the vulnerable through its support of social services, outreach endeavours, and the construction of affordable housing. Its partnerships include continuing strong 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 are invited to read more about Council's history and to review the historic photos and documents listed below.