St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church of Toronto
Pastor Rev. Fr. Elias Kirijian
The years 1895 – 1915 were the first years of the settlement of Armenians on Canadian soil when a handful of Armenians immigrated to Toronto to escape persecution mostly from the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
1920 turned to be a very important year for hundred Armenian orphans from the Armenian Genocide who found refuge in Georgetown, Ontario through the Canadian humanitarian fund. The Armenian orphans lived, worked and were educated on a farm near Georgetown. Although these Armenian orphans faced significant challenges in adjusting to their new lives in Canada, they were the first to establish strong foundation for the future of the Armenian Diaspora in Canada.
From 1950 to 1960 the number of Armenians has increased and today the number of Armenians living in Canada goes up to 85 to 90 thousands. Because of the political and the economic situations in some of the Middle Eastern countries thousands of Armenians fled to find refuge in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, South America and other parts of the world.
The number of Armenians in Canada increased over the years. There were cultural community centres being built along with schools particularly in Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Cambridge, St Catherine's, Windsor and other major cities.
Subsequently, Armenian churches were established within the Armenian Apostolic and Evangelical communities followed by the St. Gregory Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church which was founded with its belfry in the province of Ontario, located in the vicinity of Highway 401 and Bayview Avenue in the city of Toronto.