History

The congregation that evolved into the Yorkminster Corps commenced in January of 1910 when a group of comrades climbed to the second floor of a building on Ascot Avenue. In this rented auditorium, known as Little’s Hall, Salvationists began a small outpost which was named “Earlscourt.”

bread-van
A bread van in the Earlscourt district of Toronto

Within the year, a site was purchased at 1183 St. Clair Avenue on which to construct a permanent Hall, and this building was officially opened on December 23, 1910. From this location, the soldiers of Christ proclaimed the gospel message through constant open-air meetings and regular weekly services.

Throughout the following years, the faith of the comrades was rewarded. The Royal George Theatre, which held 600 people, was situated next door to the Hall, and was hired when the crowds could not be sustained within the small wood building…The congregation maintained its influence in the district and the size of the Soldiers’ Roll continued to grow.

In 1920, a new site was purchased for a larger Hall, to be built at 1615 Dufferin Street. From there, the message of salvation was heard in the Earlscourt District for over half a century.

Despite the great progress of the Corps, the area in which it was located had changed demographically by the 1980s, and a decision was made to relocate the congregation to Yonge Street and Highway 401, and change the name to Yorkminster Citadel. An opportunity for new avenues of sacred service began when the Yorkminster Citadel was officially opened by Commissioner Will Pratt on September 12, 1987. From this location, the message of Christ continued to sound forth from atop the great hill on Yonge Street.

The year 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the Yorkminster Citadel Corps.

Doug Taylor
(tayloronhistory.com)