Monday, September 25, 2006

St. Peter's Church, Toronto


Front of the church. I don't know the technical name for the architectural layout ... rectangular box. No transepts.


Detail of one of the stained glass windows showing the repentance of St. Peter. Each of the side stained glass has scenes from the life of St. Peter.

I just put a bunch of photos of St. Peter's Church in Toronto up at my Flickr page. Check them out! (It's such a pain to get the photos on blogger and for some reason I can never get more than 5 at a time per post).
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4 comments:

assiniboine said...

'Tis a bit like 17th century English rectory, isn't it. I've emailed you a photo of George Herbert's rectory just outside Salisbury, Wiltshire, which Vikram Seth now owns and lives in.

You see what I mean about the austerity of RC church decoration in anglophone Canada -- Quebec is another matter. St Peter's could almost be the Christian Science church north of Bloor between Spadina and St George. (Which has a glorious Casavant Frères organ and what a waste, if you'll pardon a brief moment of liturgical snootiness.) Even the few coloured statues you photographed are unusual; most were either chucked out 30 years ago or painted white.

Incidentally, till today you haven't actually been downtown. You've been in the Annex. Downtown is a couple of blocks to the east and west of Bloor and Yonge down to the Harbour.

Just north of Bloor and Yonge is Yorkville, now an extremely posh precinct indeed, but in the '60s the hive of counterculture, full of hippies, US draft dodgers (a great many of whom got to kind of like it, gratefully declined President Ford's limited amnesty and are now pillars of the community: perhaps like all converts, plus royaux que le roi et plus catholique que le pape* :) ) and coffeehouses where the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell got started when they first escaped from Winnipeg and Saskatoon, respectively.

I AM surprised that, being Indian, you didn't notice the Bata Shoe Museum on Bloor just west of St George during your peregrinations. Bata Shoes has made, or had a large part in contributing to, three major cultural institutions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: Tom Stoppard, Vikram Seth and the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. I wonder which one of the three will be remembered in a hundred years.

And just a little to the east of Yonge on Bloor Street is the monumental (and monumentally Low Church) St Paul's Anglican Church, where Toronto's favourite son Glenn Gould's nationally televised funeral was held. (His poor mother, staunch United Churchwoman that she was, would not have been pleased, but he did a very evangelical Protestant sort of thing and left his entire estate to the Salvation Army.)

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*Durn this thing: won't allow guimets -- French quotation marks: invalid HTML tags it calls them.

Gashwin said...

The chucking out of statues 30 years ago was hardly limited to RC anglophone Canada. It was a part of the general "protestentization" (or perhaps "low-churchization") that followed in the wake of the Council.

Thankfully, in most places, the trend is slowly being reversed.

Apparently there are some painted over murals in this church that are next on the list to be uncovered and restored.

It's still a beautiful church, though, especially compared to some of the hideous 1960s/70s style "worship spaces" I've seen on this trip.

Oh, blogger comments only accepts very limited HTML tags.

And maybe, je suis plus catholique que le pape ... I have been accused of having too much of the zeal of the convert at times. :) "Naya musulman" -- "a new Muslim" as they say in India. Heh.

Gashwin said...

Oh ... the Bata Shoe store? Yesterday, we walked down Huron, just before St. Georges on Bloor and came up via Church, so we missed that intersection.

Today, I got off the subway at St. George and walked down Devonshire Pl. towards Hoskins ... so I guess I missed it again!

There is something hideous being built just west of Devonshire on Bloor -- some new addition to the Ontario Museum, someone said. Modern and metal. Shudder.

assiniboine said...

"Front of the church. I don't know the technical name for the architectural layout ... rectangular box. No transepts."

Regency.