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The story of St. Joseph Parish in Leslieville Toronto

Allan Peter Selman


When you drink from the well,

Remember the people who dug the well.

-Chinese proverb


          We thank: Linda Bharara, Mr. and Mrs. Maarten Bomers, Mr. and Mts. Bruce Brackett, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cheeseman, Frank Delaney, Mary Margaret Dobell, Margaret Dobko, Mr. and Mrs. Don Drew, Harold Duplessis, Judy Endacott (nee Gribben), Lester Fernandes, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Fernandes, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Gomes, Mary Hughes, Lil Lever, Mr. and Mrs. Donald MacAdam, Mr. and Mrs. Alex MacDonald, Margaret McFarlane, Mary Moulton, Toni Muise, Nita Nash, Mr. and Mrs. Allan O’Hanley, Mr. and Mrs. John Quinlan, Mr. and Mrs. Bill (“Dusty”) Rhodes, Marisa Romano, Mary Sarkisian, Jack Selman, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sheridan, Mr. and Mrs. William Thompson, Cecilia Vaillancourt, Mr. and Mrs. Fred von Zuben and Mr. and Mrs. Alex Walsh.


  I am grateful to the following for material provided and who have responded to various queries: Peter Barry (Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto), Joanne Doucette (author of Pigs, Flowers and Bricks: A history of Leslieville to 1920), Robert Hiller (Casavant Freres Organ Company), Margaret MacDonald, Toni Muise, Marisa Romano, and Tom and Hallace Sheridan. Andrea D’Angelo (Associate Archivist, Archdiocese of Toronto) provided various parish and archdiocesan documents including access to the literature of their library.

                     From time immemorial, long before European fur traders paddled their canoes on the Credit and Humber rivers, the land we now call Leslieville[1] was home to several First Nation peoples: the Mississauga, the Seneca and others lived in various locations in and around this area. At times as their territories expanded and shifted they encountered other groups and conflict often resulted. The area in and around Ashbridge’s Bay was used by the Mississauga for fishing, harvesting wild rice, and trapping a variety of game. The area was “wooded with scattered ponds and wetlands”[i] as noted by Joanne Doucette’s reference to a map of 1792.

                       The earliest European post in Toronto dates from 1720 when Sieur Douville established France’s presence in the area.[ii] Fort Rouille was established on the present Canadian National Exhibition Ground in 1751.[iii] It was the British who established a firm foothold in Toronto when Governor Simcoe arrived in Upper Canada (now Ontario) with his British troops. He established a policy of land settlement by providing land grants to the United Empire Loyalist who remained loyal to Britain following the American Revolution.[iv] Probably the earliest home in the area belonged to the Ashbridge family who came from Philadelphia in 1793.[v] On the north side of Queen Street East, opposite the Russell streetcar barns, one may visit a parcel of land which comprises part of the original estate. Note the historical plaque on the west corner where the driveway turns north from Queen Street. Many Loyalist came for the land grants which extended from the lake to what is now Danforth Avenue. Several street names in the area carry the names of these early settlers (e.g., Ashdale after the Ashbridges and Mosley).[vi]

             The Irish priest Reverend Edmund Burke who came to Canada in 1786 records in a letter on 1796 that he purchased two hundred acres of land on lot 4 on the third concession east of Young Street. This is now Leslie Street. He assigned this parcel of land in trust for the Catholics of York. In 1831 Bishop Macdonell was advised to sell this property as it was described as “wild land and far from town.”[vii]

             The Diocese of Kingston was in charge of Upper Canada until December 17, 1841 when it was divided and the Very Reverend Michael Power was appointed Bishop with Toronto as the episcopal See. At this time St. Paul’s Church, established in 1822, was the only Roman Catholic Church to serve the needs of the faithful east of the Don River.

             The earliest settlers in what is now Leslieville were mainly descendants of Protestant Irish with less numbers of Scottish descent. The Irish Catholics came to this area during and after the potato famine of the 1840’s. Here they toiled as laborers in the brickyards, slaughterhouses, and market gardens. Several members of the Holland family were butchers. At the site of the present Leslieville School they operated a piggery.[viii] The children who attended the early school and church of our parish obviously knew the sounds and odors of the pigs that became the bacon that they ate.

            It is to be noted that before our parish was consecrated there was an earlier St. Joseph’s Church established in Streetsville in Mississauga. The church, which was consecrated on July 18, 1858, was built on a hill a short distance from what is now Bristol Road and Church Street. Reverend Patrick Conway resided here from March 1859 for just under one year. During this short time he managed to raise enough money to retire the debt on the church.[ix]

            We must remember that until recently life for the Roman Catholic in our city was very difficult. While the Protestant might work his way up the social ladder, it was much more difficult in the hierarchical Victorian society of that era for the Irish Catholic to do the same. Racial and religious bigotry was openly practiced. The Orangemen (members of a society founded in Northern Ireland in 1795 for upholding Protestant ascendancy and succession in England) controlled city hall and the police.[x]

            In order to serve these hard working Irish Catholics in Leslieville a school, which served as a chapel where mass was regularly celebrated, was built in 1863. This clapboard frame structure was the work of Father Rooney who was pastor of St. Paul’s Church. It was located on what is now Curzon Street just north of what is now Dundas Street. In 1871 this structure was replaced by a two room red brick school which also served as a place where mass was celebrated.[xi] These developments demonstrated that there was justification for a parish to be created in Leslieville. An examination of property records reveals a transaction dated 11 Nov. 1878 – 26 Nov. 1878 (9924 – Grant. George Leslie: Mahali G. his wife to Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation). The letter G. refers to Mr. Leslie’s second wife’s maiden name Greenall. This was followed by a series of mortgages in 1884, 1887, 1892, and 1894. In July of 1894 the mortgage was discharged.[xii]

            The Parish of St. Joseph’s was formally created on November 10, 1878 [SAP1] with Father Michael McCartin O’Reilly appointed as founding pastor. Father O’Reilly was born on May 16, 1842 at Granard, County Longford, Ireland. He made his studies in Ireland, Toronto (St. Michael’s), Niagara Falls, and Montreal. He was ordained by Bishop Lynch on August 20, 1866. He was most ambitious as he had built two previous churches before coming to our parish.[xiii] There were more concerns than the building of a new church for Father O’Reilly. In 1882 a group of unidentified young men roughed up the pastor. While the Orangemen were ever vigilant against what they perceived as papist threats, even they were shocked by this attack.[xiv]

             The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1884 by Bishop Lynch with considerable ceremony in the presence or clergy and a large number of lay people[SAP2] . On July 18, 1886 the church was dedicated by Bishop O’Mahoney. During the construction bricks were donated from local brickyards.[xv] According to John Ross Robertson’s Landmarks of Toronto “the land on which the church was built cost in the year 1878 the sum of $1,000. The building of the edifice absorbed $10,000, and the Presbytery $3,000 more.” He considered the church “one of the prettiest features in a district which has few natural advantages, either in scenery or surroundings.”[xvi] Picnics on the grounds were initiated in order to defray the cost associated with the new church. Thus began a long standing tradition. In order to illustrate that these events were extremely well organized see the following three pages from the July 17, 1937 garden party program.

              From the beginning of the parish and for many years after, there was an apple orchard on the grounds. Many a youngster attempted to feast on this fruit. As an example of the charitable work performed by the parishioners it may be mentioned that from the very beginning (June 4, 1882) the St. Vincent de Paul Society has been involved in identifying the needs of the downtrodden and assisting the poor and homeless. The work of church building for Father O’Reilly was not at an end with St. Joseph’s. In the 1850’s land farther east had been donated for a church but no action had been taken until 1892 when, under Father O’Reilly’s efforts, a chapel dedicated to St. John the Evangelist was built. The Jubilee volume of that year states that there were two hundred and twenty families in St. Joseph’s and St. John’s.[xvii] Father O’Reilly would hike from St. Joseph’s to what is now Danforth and Main. No one could possibly say that this faithful priest took his mission lightly! On January 17, 1893 Father O’Reilly passed on to his eternal reward and was interred under St. Joseph’s Church. On May 10, 1976 he was reinterred at the Queen of the Clergy Cemetery at St. Augustine’s Seminary (Grave No. 69).[xviii]

               Following this important period in the earliest stages of St. Joseph’s history, Father William Bergin was appointed administrator until 1895, when Father John Joseph McEntee became pastor. Though he was well liked and popular, especially with the children, ill health led to his resignation in 1902. During this time as the population grew and brickyards were moving out of the area, roads were improving and streetcars made their appearance on Queen Street. The days of “muddy York” were rapidly disappearing. It was in this environment that the appointment of Father Hugh Joseph Canning took place. Previous to his arrival in 1903 he had been Inspector of Christian Doctrine in the Separate Schools. He was known for his enthusiasm in conducting church affairs. While St. Joseph’s had a reputation for such groups as a Friendly Society Lodge and a literary society, Father Canning went on to encourage a boys’ choir and a gallery choir under John and Richard Howorth along with such organizations as debating groups and athletic clubs.[xix] Bazaars, lectures, and garden parties testify to the social health of the parish. It may be noted that Father John Mary Fraser who was Associate Pastor at St. Joseph’s for a short period of time in 1902, is renowned as the founder of Scarborough Missions.

              While all appeared to be progressing well, disaster struck in 1907 when fire destroyed the church. While the cause was a candle left burning in the choir loft, some wags said that the conflagration was due to a fiery sermon! Serving as a temporary home for our parish church was an Anglican church on Brooklyn Avenue. This proved to be only a temporary solution. The Presbyterian Church at Gerrard and Bolton Avenue was acquired and this served as the parish church for over a year. While the faithful of our parish survived and continued their earthly journey, it is sad to report that our earliest church documents went up in flames when the first St. Joseph’s did likewise.[xx]

               The new St. Joseph’s Church was completed in 1909 [SAP3] with the Chancellor of the Diocese, Father Francis Frederick Rohleder, serving as pastor. Father Canning was assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes. Fame came to the newly built church when the St. Joseph’s debating society won the city championship (1913-1914). At this time the rectory was completed at a cost of $19,000.[xxi]

                Father Rohleder’s health had been failing and shortly after the outbreak of war in 1914 he passed away on September 10. From this time to February 1915 Father Patrick Joseph Bench was administrator assisted by Father Thomas Edward Finegan. Father Bench shall return to our story later.

                In April of 1915 began the remarkable twenty year period when Father Arthur Joseph O’Leary served as pastor at St. Joseph’s. During the early years of his pastoral work, the Great War of 1914-1918 drained not only the resources of the combatants but blotted out a whole generation of youth. The bronze tablet at the church entrance serves as testimony to St. Joseph’s lost youth. After the war the tempo of parish life increased dramatically and from all accounts became a model for others to emulate. While the Blessed Sacrament was the focal point of all parish life the church became a centre for local parishioner and visitors from the surrounding area. Annual picnics, garden parties, and the Feast of Corpus Christi with processions became much anticipated events. At the rear of the rectory a terrace was built up with newly deposited fine loam, a clay tennis court was installed to the west of the church, and a bowling green to the south of a club house was put in place for the use of all who wished physical activity. The many activities of the parish during this time are truly remarkable and revel the health of the parish social and religious life. Such groups as a tennis club, a debating union, and a literary society. These groups provided not only the opportunity for physical well-being but provided an avenue to study and debate social issues of the day and furthered good reading habits. Several religious groups flourished; Holy Angels’ Sodality, Blessed Virgins’ Sodality, and the Holy Name Society.[xxii]

               An undated memorandum by Father O’Leary titled “Catholic Social Action in the Parish” makes reference to the following organizations some of which would include the community as a whole: Study Club of Holy Name, Catholic Taxpayers Association, Riverdale Taxpayers Association, Citizens Friendship League, Girls’ Literary and Study Group, Christian Mothers’ Confraternity, and Catholic Federated Charities Campaign. He also makes reference to lectures by priests dealing with social problems.[xxiii]

              The increasing work load of Father O’Leary is revealed in a letter dated August 9, 1925 which he sent to the Archbishop. Reference is made to “extra work” and his being “Taxed… early and late to accomplish all parochial work alone….” He refers to “about ten of the societies… [which] require constant and discriminate attention to forge ahead and keep from receding.” He requests “one strong and zealous helper” so that he “can get along with the growing parish for another year….”[xxiv]

             Stained glass windows are always impressive and inspiring. The present windows date from this period in our church history. Each of the windows on the north and south walls are inscribed with an invocation from the litany of St. Joseph and are dated 1920 and 1921 with the name of the company N. T. Lyon Co., Toronto. On the west wall above the altar is a magnificent window depicting the crucifixion.

              Not much information is available regarding the story of our pipe organ. Karn is the name of the manufacturer. No opus number is traceable on the organ (this is the production line number). Karn was established in 1843 and in joint ownership with other companies built cabinet organs, pump organs, pipe organs, and pianos. The company existed into the twentieth century with locations in southwestern Ontario (Woodstock from 1870 and Listowel from 1909). Mr. Robert Hiller of Cassavant Freres Organ Limited, who has seen our instrument, states that the mechanism in the organ appears to be a Woodstock type of 1920’s or early 1930’s vintage. It has eleven ranks with about five hundred and fifty pipes. Presently it is not in very good condition.[xxv]

              While all was going well with parish social and spiritual life, there were problems encountered by Father O’Leary. Disputes as to the boundaries of the adjacent parishes led him to make a formal complaint to the diocese on October 16, 1916.[xxvi] As late as February 28, 1938 there exists a document signed “F.P.M.” stating that due to “rapid change in the city and other moving population, it is not easy to fix permanent boundaries for the new parishes.”[xxvii] On April 17, 2013 Thomas Cardinal Collins formally confirmed the boundaries established by Cardinal Carter on Sepetember 16, 1986. They are:

                 North: C. N. R. tracks

                 East: west side of Ashdale Avenue to Lake Ontario

                 South: Lake Ontario

                 West: east side of Carlaw Avenue[xxviii]

               Because of the increasing number of parishioners during this time of parish growth the seating space in the church became a problem. According to the clergy file of Father O’Leary the church seating capacity was 540 and with four Sunday masses there were still parishioners standing outside. He reports that during his time the parish population grew from three hundred and seventy families to nine hundred and eight. He aptly titles this note “The Problem of St. Joseph’s Future.”[xxix] Especially needed was space for a hall in order to meet the needs of a full Catholic life. During this time the first floor of the caretaker’s residence was used as a meeting place. In order to remedy this problem it was proposed that the church be transformed into a hall and a new edifice built. Father O’Leary expresses the fact that his “enthusiasm for a new church building has waned” and suggests that “a younger Priest might dedicate the next ten years to augmenting the Fund….” He reports that St. Joseph’s is financially healthy with a credit balance of $18,000. Such was the state of affairs in April 1935 shortly before Father O’Leary left our parish.[xxx]

                Father Matthew John Wedlock was appointed pastor on July 22, 1935. During his brief eleven month stay he walked to every home in the parish while conducting a complete census.[xxxi]

                During the last years of Father O’Leary’s lengthy stay at St. Joseph’s and the return of Father Patrick Bench in the summer of 1936, the Great Depression cast the world into a state of despair. Not only were great numbers unemployed but birth rates fell dramatically. In Ontario the percentage decrease in per capita income between 1928-9 and 1933 was a staggering 44%.[xxxii] Birth rates fell from 29.3 per thousand in 1921 to 23.5 in 1929 and 20.6 in 1939.[xxxiii] Church finances reflected this fact of diminishing income. Note the following:

St. Joseph’s Church (Leslie Street) Finances[xxxiv]

    Year            Receipts ($)

1922           18,611.47

1923           18,538.16

1935             6,094.17

 1936             9,524.09

 1942           20,562.86

 1945           21,941.94


                World War II (1939-1945) brought the country to nearly full employment and hastened industrialization, particularly in Ontario.

                 As mentioned above, Father Bench returned to St. Joseph’s following the death of Father Wedlock. He remained here until his death on November 4, 1950. During this time he was elevated to Domestic Prelate. It was during Msgr. Bench’s stay at St. Joseph’s that much work was done in renovating the church and restoring and preserving the historic contents. As an example he expanded the church area by moving the west wall back. He also redecorated the walls and had the Stations of the Cross well integrated into the visual scheme.[xxxv] An example of St. Joseph’s making the church property available for the good of the greater community is the fact that it has been home to the Girl Guides (59th Guiding Unit) since Msgr. Bench’s time.

                 Margaret MacDonald of our parish has been a leader in this unit for many years.

                 Following the death of Msgr. Bench, Father Henry Clarkson served briefly as Administrator until Bishop Benjamin Webster was appointed pastor in 1951. He served until April 1954 when he was appointed Bishop of Peterborough.

                 An important period of our church history is now to commence. Such long-standing problems as overcrowding continued as the parish population grew and there was the old problem of lack of social space facilities. It was under these circumstances that Msgr. John Henry Ingoldsby came to our church. Prior to his arrival he had taught philosophy, Latin, and pastoral theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary before serving as Dean of Studies, vice rector, and rector at the seminary. In a short time he took on the task of planning a new church edifice. An undated note by Msgr. Ingoldsby gives the cost of converting the church to a hall as $18,000 and the cost of the new church as $277,142.[xxxvi] The third St. Joseph’s Church was erected on the site of the old apple orchard in 1958.[SAP4]  Seating was provided for about a thousand people. The debt was paid off in five years. In the new church the faithful were given a sense of continuity with the previous church, with the transference of the stained glass windows to the new church and the installation of the sanctuary lamp and the statues of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady.[xxxvii] The solem Blessing of the church took place on Sept 7, 1958 with His Eminence James C. Cardinal McGuigan presiding.[xxxviii] When Msgr. Ingoldsby retired in 1969 he became Pastor Emeritus. During the following three years Father Tomas Joseph Michael Manley served as pastor.

                 In June of 1972 began a ten year period of further growth with many organizations flourishing. This decade was ushered in by the arrival of Father Desmond Michael O’Neill. Amongst the groups which were active at this time were the Altar Society, the Christian Women’s League, the Council of Catholic Men, Good Companions, and the Ladies Auxiliary Legion of Mary. There was also a bowling club. 

                 The Centennial Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated on April 30, 1978 with the Most Reverend Philip Pocock, Archbishop of Toronto, as the principal celebrant. For the occasion of a special children’s Centennial Mass on April 28, a statuary comprising the Holy Family was presented as a gift from the children of St. Joseph’s School. These hand-carved works were imported from northern Italy and displayed in the baptistery.[xxxix]

                  One of the highlights of the centenary festivities is described in an article written by Mary Dobell. She relates how the eldest parishioner, Mary Drohan aged ninety-two, assisted by Archbishop Pocock cut the celebration cake.[xl] Mary Dobell was born in 1902 and became at a very young age a resident of Leslieville where she lived until her death in 2007. She was involved in many activities at both the parish, community, and national levels. For a lifetime of devoted service she was awarded Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Chruch and for the Pontiff) in 1981.

                 It was during Father O’Neill’s pastorate that planning began for a senior’s residence on the land to the north and esat of the rectory. This came to fruition on May 24, 1981 when St. Joseph’s Place was formally opened. Cardinal Carter notes in his letter of May 1981 that “this is the first senior citizen apartment building undertaken by the Archdiocese of Toronto….”[xli] The principal celebrant at the Eucharistic celebration was the Most Reverend Leonard J. Wall, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. The residence has served a great need in Leslieville where an aging population could now remain in the area where they had spent their lives. The church now had access to a hall with kitchen facilities. Various social functions have taken place here including New Year’s dances, an annual International Food Fair, annual Springtime High Tea celebrations, and Christmas Bazaars. It was at this time that a committee initiated by Marisa Romano was established to assit the disable in fully participating in these functions.

                During the late 1980’s, when Father Agostino Pacheco was associate pastor, St. Joseph’s celebrated Mass in Portuguese in addition to the English language Mass. The beautiful processions which took place around the church were wonderful events for the spectators to behold. During the time Father Allan Angus Joseph MacNeil was pastor (1983-1995) many parishioners and community members enjoyed annual summer trips to such places as Cape Cod and the Agawa Canyon. These were organized by Anne O’Hanley.

                 Since 2007, St. Joseph’s shared space with the Tamil community of Toronto who named their parish Our Lady of Good Health. The parishioners came from all parts of the greater Toronto area and when the property on the west side of Curzon, which served as their parking lot, was sold for development the Tamil community left. It was Father Gabriel Arulnesan who served as pastor for both English and Tamil speaking communities.

                 On the departure of the Tamil parishioners, St. Jospeh’s parish was assigned to the Holy Cross Fathers. On the south wall of the church there is a sign of recognition of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Here are portraits of Blessed Basil Anthony Mary Moreau, CSC (1799-1873) founder of the Holy Cross Priests, Brothers, and Sisters and Saint (Brother) Andre Bessette, CSC founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal.

                 It was Father Frank Wagner, CSC who became the administrator in 2011 who provided guidance during the transition period. His work in conjunction with Father Wilson Andrade, CSC and Father Francis Noronha, CSC has led to the revitalization of parish life. They have encouraged the laity to become active in all aspects of church life. Young children participate in Sunday School overseen by a team of dedicated adults. Several young altar servers are always faithfully present at the Sunday service. The priests provide spiritual guidance with visitations to the Avondale Retirement Residence and the Heritage Nursing Home. An important change happened in July 2012 when the rectory was taken over by the Sisters of Life. The St. Joseph’s priests now reside at St. Ann’s Church rectory where they are responsible for the two parishes.

                As with any person, the community of St. Joseph’s has expenses which must be paid. While the parish is not among the wealthiest in the archdiocese we have been extraordinarily generous when our needs had to be met. A recent example will suffice. When the archdiocese set a financial goal for each parish for the pastoral plan “Family of Faith” we contributed well beyond the target. This means that our church shall be receiving a portion of this revenue for our own needs. Since our church windows are in need or restoration this is what the money shall be used for. Well done thou good faithful followers of St. Joseph!

                 Today our community is very different from its humble origin. Our neighbors come from all parts of the global village. We speak many languages and we have diverse ways of understanding our one world. In the Gospels there are no recorded words of Joseph, beloved guardian of our Lord, but through the life of our parish we have experienced how the household which has adopted his name has carried the word of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into the active service of both our lives and the world of which we are an integral part. May growth continue into the future as the mustard seed of Jesus’ parable (Mk 4:30-32; Mt 13:31-32; Lk 13:18-19) so that the Kingdom which is and yet is to become may flourish in ways as yet unknown.

Table I

St.  Joseph's Church   (Leslie St. ) Finances


 Year       Receipts ($)

1918           18,842.77

1922           18,611.47

1923           18,538.16

1935             6,094.17

1936             9,524.09

1942           20,562.86

1945           21,941.94

1954           36,954.14

1959           75,968.46

1960           10,012.81

1965           68,752.66

1970           66,896.91

1975           76,033.05


  Year    Offertory ($)        Receipts ($)

1980        87,655.00          165,534.86

1985        11,865.63          198,885.56

1990      109,804.90          226,675.95

1995        93,425.01          195,668.70

2001      103,103.50          232,920.52

2005             564.44          160,567.26

2009        73,549.31          182,816.99


                Source: St. Joseph's Church ( Leslie St.) - Finances

                                Financial data from Archives of the Roman Catholic

                                Arohdiocese of Toronto.

Table II

St. Joseph's (Leslie St.)   Spiritual Statistics


                      1914        1938       1945      1950       1960       1970      1978

Population    1,650       3,500      3,000     2,180      4,990      4,200    2,600*

Marriages          21            31           25          48           82           45         25

Baptisms         104            85         102        129         280         135       104

Deaths              29            29           25          28            53           42         35

Conversions     11              5            12            8           17             2           8


                       1990        2001       2007       2009

Population     1,500         330*        300**       270* 

Marriages           16             3             1            --

Baptisms            43           16           12           21

Deaths                --            14           14            --

Conversions       --             --             --             --


* Number of families.

** Average estimated Sunday Mass attendance.

Sources;  Spiritual Statistics # 1, St. Joseph's (Leslieville), Lelie St.# 074.

                Spiritual Statistics # 12, St. Joseph's ( Leslieville), Leslie St.

                Spiritual Statistics from Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto.


    Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto is abbreviated ARCAT.

1. Joanne Doucette, Pigs, Flowers and Bricks: A History of Leslieville to 1920 (Toronto: n.p., 2011), p.11

2. Percy J. Robinson, Toronto During the French Regime: A History of the Toronto Region from Brule to Simcoe 1615-         1793 (Toronto: University of Toronto,1965), pp. 61-62.

3. Ibid., p. 93.

4. Gerald  M. Craig, Upper Canada. The Formative Years, 1784-1841 (Toronto: McClelland  and Stewart, 1968),

    pp. 20-41.

5. Edith G. Firth, ed., The Town of York 1793-1815: A Collection of Documents of Earl Toronto (Toronto: University             of Toronto, 1962 ), p. 88, footnote 11. Edith G. Firth has written a most instructive introduction to this volume.

6. Doucette, Op. cit., pp. 265-273.

7. Edward Kelly, The Story of St. Paul's Parish, Toronto (1922), pp. 26-27.

8. Doucette, Op. cit., pp.172, 174.

9. Liz McQuaig (Librarian, Central Library, Arts and History Department, City of Mississauga, Ontario),   conversation           with the author, February 2015; D'Arcy Kennedy, "A History of St. Joseph's Parish, Streetsville, est. 1833" Copy               provided by the City ot Mississauga Central Library with no bibliographic information; William Perkins Bull, From             MacDonell to McGuigan: The History of the Growth of the Roman Catholic Church in Upper Canada (Toronto: The           Perkins Bull Foundation, n.d.), pp. 293-297, 307.

10. Murray Nicolson, Catholics in English Canada: A Popular History,1790-1900 (Toronto: Life Ethics Information Centre,       2000), pp.78-79, 114-116.


11. Robert J. Scollard, Typescript of paper read on the occasion of the Open Night at St.Joseph's Separate School on 7         November 1946, p.3.

12. ARCAT . Property Records #074 - St. Joseph's, Toronto; Correspondence (1856-1982).

13. Kelly, Op. cit., p.119.

14. Doucette, Op. cit., pp. 177-178.

15. Margaret McFarlane, "St. Joseph's Parish, Toronto, Ontario: 1878-1968,"  p.3 No bibliographic                      information is given.                                                                                                                                   

16. John Ross Robertson, Landmarks of toronto: A Collection of Historical Sketches of the Town of York  from 1792 until 1834 and of Toronto from 1834 to 1904, Fourth Series Complete (Toronto: J. Ross Robertson, 1904), p. 340.

17. The Canadian Register, "Visits to Toronto Churches," August 18, 1951, p.10; ARCAT . Parish History - Notes on               St.Joseph's Paish, Leslieville (from J. R. Teefy, ed . Jubilee, Volume, Archdiocese of Toronto and                                     Archbishop Walsh with an Introduction by His Grace the Archbishop. Toronto: George T. Dixon, 1892).

18. Peter Barry (Counsellor, Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto), convesation with the author, December 2014.

19. McFarlane,  Op. cit., pp.5-6.

20. Ibid., p.6.

21. ARCAT. Construction/Renovation. General Correspondence, 1914-1960.

22. McFarlane, Op. cit., p.7; See also St.Joseph's program Centennial Mass of Thanksgiving, 1878-1978. One hundred         Years of Service for God and Community.

23. ARCAT. General Correspondence, 1888-1959.

24. Ibid.

25. Robert Hiller (Casavant Freres Organ Limited), conversation with the author, December 2014.

26. ARCAT.  St. Joseph's (Leslieville ), Leslie  St., Parish History: Parish Boundaries and Canonical Documents.

27. Ibid.

28. Ibid.

29.ARCAT. General Correspondence, 1888-1959.

30. Ibid.

31. McFarlane, Op. cit., p.8.

32. John Herd Thompson with Allen Seager, Canada, 1922-1939: Decades of Discord (Toronto:  McClelland  and                   Stewart, 1985), p.351.The source of the information (Table XIV: Decline in Per-Capita  Incomes by Province, 1928-         29 to 1933) is taken from Rowell-Sirois Report, Book l: Canada: 1867-1939, p.150.

33. Ibid., p.153; see also Robert Bothwell, Ian Drummond, and John English, Canada, 1900-1945 (Toronto:       University of Toronto, 1987), p.247.

34. ARCAT. St. Joseph's Church (Leslie St.). Finances.

35. The Canadian Register, "Visits to Toronto Churches," August 18, 1951, p.10.

36. ARCAT. Oonstruction/ Renovation. General Oorrespendence, 1914-1960.

37. McFarlane, Op. cit., pp. 8-9.

38. "Solemn Blessing of the new St. Joseph's Church,"  program dated Sunday, September 7, 1958.

39. "Centennial Mass of Thanksgiving, 1878-1978. One hundred Years of Service for God and Community," program             dated Sunday, April 30, 1978.

40. Mary Dobell, "From age two to 92, they marked 100 years," Catholic Register, May 20, 1978, p.8.

41. "St. Joseph's Place - 1981. For God and Community. Mass of Dedication and Thanksgiving," program dated

       May 24,1981.



Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. Abbreviated  ARCAT. The various file titles are given with the notes.

Andrade, Wilson. "Novena to St. Joseph.  Meditations on the ten events in the life of St. Joseph." Text describing the stained glass windows of St.Joseph's Roman Catholic Church (Leslieville). Dated March 19 , 2012.

Bothwell, Robert, Ian Drummond, and John English. Canada, 1900-1945. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1987 .

Bull, William Perkins.  From  MacDonell to McGuigan: The History of the Growth of tho Roman CathoIic Church in Upper Canada. Toronto: The Perkins Bull Foundation, n.d.

Craig, Gerald  M. Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1968.

Dobell, Mary. "From age 2 to 92, they marked 100 years." Catholic Register, May 20, 1978, p.8.

Doucette, Joanne. Pigs, Flowers and Bricks: A History of Leslieville to 1920. Toronto:  n.p., 2011

Firth, Edith G., ed. The Town of York, 1793-1815: A Collection of Documents of Early Toronto

Toronto: Universiity of Toronto, 1962

Kelly, Edward. The Story of St. Paul's Parish, Toronto. 1922.

Kennedy, D'Arcy. "A  History of  St. Joseph' s Parish, Streetsville, est. 1833. 

McDonagh,  J. A.  "The Story of a Mother Parish: St. Joseph's, Leslieville."  September, 1933.

McFarlane, Margaret. St. Joseph's Parish, Toronto, Ontario: 1878-1968.

Moir, John S., ed .Church and Society: Documents on the Religious and  Social History of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto from the Archives of the Arch­diocese.Toronto: Archdiocese  of Toronto,1991.

Nicolson, Murray. Catholics in Enfilish Canada: A Popular History, 1790-1900. Toronto: Life Ethics Information Centre, 2000.

Robertson, John Ross. Landmarks of Toronto: A Collection of Historical Sketches of the Town of York  from 1722 until 1834 and of Toronto from 1834 to 1904. Fourth Series.

Complete.Toronto: J. Ross Robertson, 1904.

Robinson, Percy J. Toronto During the French Regime: A History of the Toronto Region from Brule to Simcoe, 1615-1793. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1965.

Scollard, Robert J. Typescript of paper read on the occasion of the Open Night at St.Joseph 's Separate School on 7 November 1946.    ·

Thompson, John Herd with Allen Seager. Canada, 1922-1939Decades of Discord. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1985.

"Visits to Toronto Churches." The Canadian Register , August 18, 1951, p.10.                    .

Walking the Less Travelled Road: A History of the Religious Communities within the Archdiocese ofToronto, 1841-1991. Toronto: The Archdiocese of Toronto, 1993.

Publications of St. Joseph's Church (Leslieville)

"St. Joseph's Garden Party." July 17, 1937.

" Expansion Program, St.Joseph's Parish (1957-1958)." Introductory letter of Rt. Rev. J. H. Ingoldsby dated May 30, 1957.

"Solemn Blessing of the new St.Joseph's Church." September 7, 1958.

"Centennial' Mass of Thanksgiving, 1878-1978. One hundred Years of Service for God and Community." April 30, 1976.

"St. Joseph's Place - 1981. For God and Community. Mass of Dedication  and Thanksgiving. May 24, 1981.