Our History

Our History

AURORA METHODIST CHURCH–AURORA UNITED CHURCH
one congregation; three buildings ON THE CORNER OF YONGE & TYLER SINCE 1818
February 21, 1818 a deed is signed formalizing William Tyler’s donationof 1 acre of land on the north-west
corner of Yonge andTyler Streets in Aurora for the formation of a Methodist Episcopal Church.
The congregation holds their opening service at the end of that month and hascontinued to worship on the
site since that date.
-February 1818-a log church is built to provide services formembers of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the
corner ofYonge & Tyler.
-1855:larger frame church is built to accommodate a growingcongregation. The log building is moved to the
back of the property to serve as Sunday School.
-March 23, 1877:the frame church is partially destroyed by fire –a decision is made by the trustees to build
a new, grander edifice.THE 1878 BUILDING. This new building was designed by Architect Henry Langley,
well-known for designing public buildings. Over hisworking life time Henry Langley designed 70 churches
throughout Ontario. He was considered to be a conservative in architectural design which was reflected
in the Gothic Revival style of Aurora (Methodist) United Church with its steeply pitched gable roof and
two asymmetrical square towers.The projected cost of the building was $8,915 less lighting and heating;
or $8,315 without the large 100 foot spire. Fortunately it was decided toinclude the tall spire along with
a shorter one. The cost of the gas lighting would be an extra $528. The work was contracted out; the
cost of the stoneand brick (made locally) was $3,870, the carpentry and joining $3,800 andthe seating
contract 17 cents per foot, increased to 25 cents per foot for thegallery seating (withbetter lumber).
-Opening services were held on Oct. 1, 1878 officiated by Reverend D.F.Gee1893: a cyclone sweeps through
Aurora blowing off the large south spire and damaging the smaller one. The taller spire is replaced with
a shorter one.1903: Edwin A. Pearson, father of former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson serves as minister.
His son attends classes at Church Street School (now Aurora Cultural Centre).
-1909: a wing is added to the west end of the church to provide the Ladies’ Parlour.
-1912-1914: electric lights are installed.
-1925: Methodist, Congregationalist and some Presbyterian churches
amalgamate to form the United Church of Canada
-1930-31: extensivealterations includes:new pews, pulpit furniture  and pipe organ and wood paneling to
cover the iron railing in the gallery.
-1943 : both spires are removed having been struck by lightning several times.
-1957: an addition to the front of the church creates a new entrance, the Narthex, and school rooms beneath.
-1977: the first stained glass window is installed in the Narthex to commemorate the life of T.H. Oliver.
-1975: a gymnasium is added to the north side of the building.
-1987: the gymnasium is demolished, replaced by a two story office wing.
-1993: four additional stained glasswindows are installed in the Narthex to celebrate the 175th anniversary
of the founding of the congregation.
-2009: a significant sanctuary redevelopment shortens the balconies, removes the wood paneling to expose
the iron railings in the gallery,replaces the rear wall with a folding glass door and installs a state of the art AV system.
-April 11, 2014: the 1878 building along with most of its contents is destroyed by fire.