The Russian Orthodox church in Toronto is a vital hub for the city’s many Russian communities. The church strives to uphold its original mission – providing Russians with a place where they can practice their faith and safeguard their cultural heritage.
The parish serves as a settlement services centre, helping newly arrived Russians with the difficult but essential tasks of adjusting to their new environment, finding employment and housing, as well as mastering English.
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Temple
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Temple, situated in downtown Toronto, is one of Canada’s most beloved and attractive Orthodox churches. With its distinctive domed roof and crosses that are typical for Orthodox Temples, it stands out against other buildings in the cityscape.
Established in 1949, this parish was established by refugees fleeing Europe. They found a priest who spoke their language and helped them locate a place of worship within the city limits.
In 1953 they purchased a five-room house on Cunningham Avenue and held their inaugural Liturgy there.
The community continued to expand, and in 1957 the church at 1008 Dovercourt Rd (bought in 1956) was completed. A new church hall was also constructed, as well as icons acquired from Iablochynski Belarusian Greek Orthodox Monastery located in western Belastok region.
This parish is currently part of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCOR). It also has churches in Montreal (Annunciation of the Holy Mother) and Laval (St. Irene Chrysovalantou).
Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Cathedral
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Toronto, Ontario was one of the first Russian-language Orthodox churches to open its doors in Canada.
Father Alexander Piza founded the parish in 1928 when he arrived in Toronto to help organize Russian-speaking Torontonians into a cohesive parish. Under his direction, a house church was constructed and an icon screen chapel with an icon screen (an integral feature of Russian Orthodox worship services) constructed.
As a result, the community expanded and became an influential element of local society. Additionally, the church served as host to numerous cultural events.
In 1947, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Kulikovskaya — sister of the late Emperor Nicholas II — arrived in Canada and quickly made herself a beloved member of her parish. Both the temple and adjoining parish hall were named in her honour.
Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Sobor
In 1915, a group of Russian immigrants founded the Russian Orthodox Church in Toronto with the purpose of aiding its members as they navigate life in Canada while maintaining their Russian heritage and culture.
In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution and Tsar Nicholas II’s murder prompted thousands of Russians to migrate to Canada. Many found solace in religion and culture by attending church services regularly.
Toronto saw the establishment of several Russian Orthodox parishes, one of which was Christ the Saviour – becoming both the first Russian Orthodox church in Toronto and its oldest in Ontario.
The cathedral was constructed with funds provided by Russian donors and imperial patronage, intended to serve as a beacon of Orthodoxy on Kaliningrad land, where there were no other churches. Unfortunately, Stalin ordered its destruction in 1931; however, it was restored four decades later in 2014.
Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Parish
In 1915, a group of Russian-speaking immigrants in Toronto established the Russian Orthodox Church of Christ the Saviour. By expanding their numbers and uniting as one cohesive unit, this congregation eventually became a parish.
At this time, immigration from Russia to Canada slowed. It became more difficult for people to leave their homeland and political-philosophical opinions began to dominate conversations.
This caused much division within the community and split the church. Eventually, many parishioners left and joined Greek Old Calendarist parish of Holy Trinity on Winona Drive instead.
Father Nicolas Boldireff arrived at the parish from California in 1976 and was appointed rector. As a young and promising priest who had already received his ordination in France, he and his wife Anysia were delighted to settle nearby. Their support came from the sisterhood of the parish which held bazaars with folk crafts and Russian foodstuffs to raise funds and maintain good community relations with other Christians in Toronto – particularly Anglican bishop Frederick Wilkinson. These bazaars proved beneficial for raising funds as well as maintaining good community relations with other Christians such as Anglican bishop Frederick Wilkinson.