Difference between revisions of "Toronto ON Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Sobor 1915"

From Canadian Orthodox History Project
Jump to: navigation, search
m
m
Line 64: Line 64:
  
 
During the years of his service, in continuity with his life’s experience, and motivated by a Christ-loving heart, Father John provided opportunities in Toronto for the training of several priests.  By this time, following the retirement of Vladyka Arseny (Chahovtsov), the [[Sifton, MB, †Monastery of the Holy Ascension, 1910-1970 |Pastoral School at Sifton]] had closed, since it had depended directly on the person of the bishop to function properly.  
 
During the years of his service, in continuity with his life’s experience, and motivated by a Christ-loving heart, Father John provided opportunities in Toronto for the training of several priests.  By this time, following the retirement of Vladyka Arseny (Chahovtsov), the [[Sifton, MB, †Monastery of the Holy Ascension, 1910-1970 |Pastoral School at Sifton]] had closed, since it had depended directly on the person of the bishop to function properly.  
 +
 +
 +
[[File:Diachina-John S.jpg]] '''Mitred Archpriest John M Diachina'''
 +
  
 
The next wave of Russian immigrants arrived after [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II World War II].  Numerous Russians who had been displaced throughout Europe chose to emigrate, and many came to Canada to work as loggers, farm laborers and miners in rural areas.  Educated professionals settled in cities like Toronto.  Leonard Starkhosky, for one, established the Slavic Studies Department at the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Toronto University of Toronto].  
 
The next wave of Russian immigrants arrived after [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II World War II].  Numerous Russians who had been displaced throughout Europe chose to emigrate, and many came to Canada to work as loggers, farm laborers and miners in rural areas.  Educated professionals settled in cities like Toronto.  Leonard Starkhosky, for one, established the Slavic Studies Department at the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Toronto University of Toronto].  

Revision as of 15:52, 18 November 2017

Christ the Saviour Sobor Toronto exterior.jpg


Toronto, ON, Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Sobor, 1915


A History of the Parish and the Temple


Prehistory

Ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers may well have been living in Toronto, Ontario earlier in the 19th century, but there is no official record of their presence. The Canadian immigration records allowed only for the indication of “Eastern Europe” as a place of origin, but not the Russian Empire. Nevertheless, both work opportunities and business interests likely brought a small number of immigrants to Toronto in those days.

Although a congregation of Russian Orthodox had already been able to constitute itself as a parish in Montréal, Québec, in 1907, the Russian-speaking population in Toronto had not yet achieved the necessary numbers nor the needed cohesion. One contributing factor to this delay may be that many immigrating people travelled through Toronto to other places in Canada, but only a few remained in the city.

At that time, almost all the Orthodox communities in North America were administered by the bishop of the North American diocese of the Russian Mission (the Diocese of the Aleutians, later called “the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America” (the "Metropolia").

Founding the parish, establishing the first Temple

By the beginning of the 20th century, a small community of Orthodox Russian-speakers had begun to settle in Toronto. The Russian Orthodox Church of Christ the Saviour was founded in 1915 by a group of Russian-speaking immigrants in Toronto, who had achieved sufficient numbers and commitment to undertake this responsibility. They asked for and received the blessing of Archbishop Evdokim, the archbishop of the North American Metropolia.

In 1916, the parish acquired a building on Royce Avenue (now Dupont Street). The Priest Panteleimon Bozhik was transferred from Alberta, and he was assigned to be the rector of the parish. In that same year, after having had administrators since 1908, the parishes in Canada received their first resident bishop, Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky), who resided in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the Diocese of Canada was established. The first priests to serve in this parish were the Priest Panteleimon Bozyk, the Priest Michael Kamyakan and the Priest Father Joseph Shekaly.

In 1917, only a few years after its formation, the congregation of the Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Church was torn apart by events in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution began in October, 1917. Then Tsar Nicholas II and his family were killed, and civil war ensued. These events produced the exile of a large number of people. The region itself descended into decades of political and economic turbulence, and created a perceived threat to capitalist, democratic countries, including Canada. With other western nations, Canada responded by trying to stamp out the possibility of a communist revolution in Canada, and thus sent troops to Russia in 1918 to fight the revolution. Immigration from Russia to Canada slowed to a trickle. The political-philosophical opinions and the cynicism of some unbelievers prevailed in Toronto for a time. The result was confusion and instability amongst the founding members. Christ the Saviour’s congregation was riddled with intense disagreements that left it badly divided. The remaining congregation could no longer afford the church building, and its doors were closed. The foundation was as yet too fragile to withstand this shock.

In 1918, the church building on Royce Avenue was sold and the parish disintegrated. Subsequently, an Anglican chapel in the area hosted some Russian Orthodox services for a time, while other worshippers attended the Bulgarian Macedonian Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius (founded in 1910) on Trinity Street. Those who attended at this Temple felt much more comfortable in the familiar surroundings for worship than in improvised facilities.

However, at the beginning of the 1920s, the situation changed somewhat for the better. A small group of older Russian immigrants, who had refused to follow the Bolsheviks or the anarchists (who were quite fashionable at that time) was joined by some of the first post-revolutionary immigrants. S S Kocherva, D V Mityanin, P S Zozulya, I P Butko and others had by then become active participants in the Russian Orthodox community.

In 1921, a small group of parishioners (including those previously named) re-created the parish, and they received the blessing of Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky). Divine Services were then initially offered in an Anglican chapel.

In 1923, the parishioners managed to rent a building at 55, Spadina Avenue, about a block south of King Street West, and they set up the space for worship in the lower hall. This building was situated in the "Fashion District" (also called "garment district") of downtown Toronto.

In 1928, Bishop Arseny (Chahovtsov), the Bishop of Canada, assigned the Priest Alexander Pyza (Piza) to be the rector of this parish. His wife arrived with him in Toronto, and she helped him to reorganise the Russian Orthodox community into a lively parish. The diverse community of Orthodox faithful came not only from Russia proper, but also from Carpatho-Rus' and Bukovina ("little Russia"). At the same time, one of the most active parishioners – Ms N A Gedeonova, who was a trained choir-leader, created a choir and organised the sisterhood (women’s auxiliary). The work had started at full speed. Under the leadership of Father Alexander Piza, the house-church which had been previously acquired was developed, on the first floor of the building. There, the chapel with an iconostas (which is an icon screen necessary in Orthodox church services) was further developed with the help of the Carpatho-Rusyns who offered their labour. The priest's wife organised the first Russian classes on the Orthodox Faith, as well as history and language classes on the second floor where she and Father Alexander also lived.

Some of the very first families in the parish were :

 Butko, Cocherva (Curtis), Gedeonoff, Osenenko, Petelka, Rodomar, Zozula. 
 The Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants were : Duma, Ezay, Handera, Kemeny, Kundra, Prestaya, Wakarow.

Disaster ; the Second Temple

In January, 1930, someone’s hand deliberately set the church house on fire during the night when everyone who lived there was preparing a Christmas party for the children at another place. This attack, designed to try to destroy the parish, only made the community even stronger. In order to understand the context of what happened correctly, it is useful to understand that the members of the parish were not rich. At the best, they had low-paying jobs. The only treasure that the parish members had was their determination to have their church.

In the same year, the parish purchased the former First Evangelical Lutheran Church building at 4, Glen Morris Street, about 3 km (2 mi) from the old Spadina Avenue location. The cost of the purchase was $8,500.00, with a cash down payment of $1,000.00. In order to collect this down-payment, the parish initiated a drive to raise funds. Prince Nakashidze led the fundraising amongst Canadians ; Ms N A Gedeonova conducted choir performances in Anglican churches with the same goal ; Count Pavel Nikolaevich Ignatieff and his son Nicholas Pavlovich gave several lectures ; and of course, all other parishioners together contributed their scarce funds. As a result, the collected sum, exceeding $2,000.00, was enough not only to make the down payment, but also to cover expenses in order to renovate the building and to build the iconostas.

In the autumn of 1930, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky) of New York, concelebrating with Bishop Arseny (Chahovtsov) of Winnipeg, along with other clergy, sanctified the new Temple.

However, despite some positive developments for the parish, there also came difficult times for many people. The Great Depression took effect at about this time, and the resulting unemployment left many people without even a piece of bread. The parish organised free lunches and dinners for single unemployed persons, who at the time did not receive any support from the government. At the same time, the small Russian community had to raise money to pay the mortgage, the small (literally miserable) salary to the priest, and to cover the cost of the maintenance of the Temple and its decoration. During those years, half the parish budget depended upon the church bazaar, towards the success of which were directed the major efforts of the sisterhood and of those parishioners who had any artistic talents. Besides this, the choir continued to sing in different churches, and through this they raised money to alleviate the parish’s financial burden. The sisterhood at Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Cathedral held bazaars with folk crafts and Russian foods. Good community relations resulted with the other Christians in Toronto, especially with the Anglicans. The Anglican Bishop Frederick Wilkinson became a great friend towards the Russian Orthodox in Toronto, and he was fondly remembered.

Nevertheless, the Temple was becoming the centre of Russian life in the city, and a meeting-place for all the Russians who visited it. Amongst others, the Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich visited the Temple. He was a brother-in-law of Tsar Nicholas II. The grand duke was living in France, and he visited Toronto before 1933 (the year of his death). On the first arrival of the famous immigrant Don Cossack Choir of Sergey Zharov, the parish arranged the reception. The Kedrov Quartet, led by its founder, Nikolay Kedrov, Sr., standing on the "kliros" (the raised area before the iconostas on the right or left side, or both sides, where the singers stand) on the right-side, sang the whole Divine Liturgy along with the choir. Nikolay Kedrov was a prominent author of church music, whose work is still very popular.

The new Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Cathedral had become the hub of Russian Orthodox church life in Toronto. The community had choirs, dance groups, children's orchestras, youth concerts and youth cultural groups, and sisterhoods. Cadets and hussar officers from the Russian Imperial Guard of old Russia also held grand balls there. Every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy, downstairs in the church hall the faithful would congregate around the Russian classical library over "chai" (tea-time) with delicious food like "piroshki", "pelmeni" and "borshch" cooked by the sisterhood. It was a time of joyous fellowship. Lectures and talks with heated discussions on what was going on in Russia were inevitable. The former minister of education to Tsar Nicholas II, had become a member of the parish, and on 6 April, 1933, at 8:30 p.m., Count Pavel N Ignatieff and his son Count Nicholas Ignatieff gave a lecture on "Russia-Yesterday, Russia-Today" at the reference library on the corner of Saint George and College Streets. Count P N Ignatieff was the father of Dr. George Pavlovich Ignatieff, who was one of the past chancellors of the University of Toronto and a former ambassador of Canada to the United Nations in New York.

Time of testing

In 1936, the rector of the parish, the Archpriest Alexander Pyza was transferred to Detroit, USA. Subsequently, the parish was sent several temporary priests during the next 5 years, and as a result, the parish lost some parishioners. Some of them had left the city.

A strong recovery ; a true pastor

Finally, on 9 March, 1941, the Archpriest John Diachina, one of the most remarkable priests in North America, was assigned to serve as the rector. Shortly after his arrival, Father John began to gather the parishioners. Despite the lack of many active members of the parish, he restored the sisterhood, the choir, the bazaar organisation, and the church school. The life of the parish returned again to “normal”.

When Father John had arrived, he found that he was inheriting a community that had suffered and endured a period of instability since 1936. Father Pyza had been transferred away at a time when the Depression’s effects were great, and when the community was struggling to pay for the church-building on Glen Morris Avenue, which had been bought in 1930.

During the years of his service, in continuity with his life’s experience, and motivated by a Christ-loving heart, Father John provided opportunities in Toronto for the training of several priests. By this time, following the retirement of Vladyka Arseny (Chahovtsov), the Pastoral School at Sifton had closed, since it had depended directly on the person of the bishop to function properly.


Diachina-John S.jpg Mitred Archpriest John M Diachina


The next wave of Russian immigrants arrived after World War II. Numerous Russians who had been displaced throughout Europe chose to emigrate, and many came to Canada to work as loggers, farm laborers and miners in rural areas. Educated professionals settled in cities like Toronto. Leonard Starkhosky, for one, established the Slavic Studies Department at the University of Toronto.

Notable persons

After 1945, Oleg Vladimirovitch Rodomar Vukotitch moved to Toronto from Montréal, where he had already long served in many capacities at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. In secular life in Toronto, he was the president of Philips Industries ; but despite his many demanding business responsibilities, there was no change in his enthusiastic participation in the life of the Church on all levels. Although he lived north of Toronto in York, he travelled into central Toronto to attend and participate in services and meetings. At Christ the Saviour Church, he served as the choir-director, as the parish-council president, as the representative to the Diocesan Council, and also as the representative of the diocese to the Metropolitan Council. In addition to his active leadership in the parish, as his daughter wrote, he was also an

 organiser for many allied relief organisations. In particular, he helped to bring thousands of displaced 
 persons to Canada from camps in Europe, through the auspices of the ‘Canadian Tolstoy Foundation’.  

Besides having been decorated for his work during the war by King George VI, Oleg V Rodomar was decorated also by the governments of Greece and Yugoslavia for his post-war relief efforts.

Although his work in helping immigrants did not in any way involve her arrival, he was already active in Toronto during the time when the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Kulikovskaya was resident near there. The Grand Duchess and her husband Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky became regular and active participants in the worship services.

In 1946, there was convened in Cleveland, Ohio, the 7th All-American Sobor of the Metropolia. The most influential decision of this sobor was that the Metropolia break ties with the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). The difference between the two was principally about whether or not to attempt a reconciliation with the Patriarchate of Moscow at this time. The Church of Christ the Saviour remained within the Metropolia. However, for some of the new-arrivals, after having first visited the existing Christ the Saviour Church, it came to be considered as preferable that they establish a second parish in the city, but instead within the ROCOR.

In 1947, the first post-war Russian immigrants from Western Europe and from the Philippines (most having first fled from China) started arriving to Toronto and the Temple was filled with worshippers during every Sunday service. Indeed, the majority of Russian-speaking immigrants, who settled in Toronto at the end of the 1940s and at the beginning of the 1950s, passed through the doors of Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Many of those immigrants were able to come to Canada thanks to the efforts of Father John Diachina, and of Mr. Oleg V Rodomar Vukotitch.

Grand Duchess Alexandrovna Kulikovskaya (Romanova)

In 1947, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Kulikovskaya, sister of the late Russian Emperor Nicholas II, arrived in Toronto. Formerly known as "Romanova", she had stopped using the family name when she married Nikolai Kulikovsky. She and all the members of her family became devoted parishioners of this Temple.


Grand Duchess.jpg Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Romanov-Kulikovsky in retirement


The Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna and her husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky were always present at services. They demonstrated great care about the Temple’s decoration and about the well-being of the parish. Thus, the Grand Duchess created icons for the second level of the iconostas (the Grand Duchess Olga was a competent artist), as well as the image of the Mother of God for the very old (16th century) Greek “passage” shrine, which had been donated to this church a little earlier by the management of Royal Ontario Museum. It is installed now in the Temple, below the "kliros", on the right side (near the holy water container). Of course, the main characteristic of Olga Alexandrovna was her attitude towards the people around her. Her non-exclusive kindness towards everyone, her openness and her welcoming heart left a deep imprint in the memory of the parishioners of Christ the Saviour Temple. The Grand Duchess became, as it were, “the soul and the heart of the parish”, and her repose in 1960 left none of the parishioners untouched. They felt it to be a personal loss. The Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was interred in the Russian section of the York Cemetery in Toronto, near her husband, Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky.

Holy Trinity Church established

In 1949, a new congregation was formed under the ROCOR, Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church. Although parishioners would continue to visit each of the Temples, the differences between the two communities became more clearly marked with time. It would be only several decades later that the walls between them would be eroded.

The Russian Cultural Aid Society was formed in 1950 to assist these new immigrants, and alongside the church, it became an important centre for the growing community. Both Christ the Saviour Church and the new Holy Trinity Church were involved in this work. For members of the Russian-speaking community in Toronto, the Orthodox Church served as an important symbol of their national identity and culture, providing a link to the homeland while helping them navigate their new surroundings. However, by the 1960s and continuing until the 1980s, migration from Russia declined as communist governments there made it more and more difficult for citizens to leave.

Bishop Nikon

On 7 May, 1952, Bishop Nikon (de Grève) was assigned to be the new bishop of Toronto and Canada. Thus, the Temple of the Christ the Saviour received cathedral status.

In 1958, after his service in Canada, Vladyka Nikon was elevated to the dignity of archbishop, and he was sent to become the Archbishop of Tokyo and Japan.

Mr. Oleg V Rodomar Vukotitch was active and serving in Christ the Saviour Church (as starosta and choir-director) throughout the time of Vladyka Nikon’s service in Canada.

Oleg Vladimirovitch was a close collaborator with the Mitred Archpriest John Diachina over very many years. He continued working “at full throttle” until his repose on 30 January, 1961. Oleg Vladimirovitch's contributions to an important period in Canadian Orthodox Church life seem largely to have been forgotten, even in Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Although this is not an unusual occurrence amongst those who are serious Christians who do all for the sake of Christ and not for the sake of self, it can be helpful for those who can come to know him to take heart from the manner in which he lived his Christian life. Oleg Vladimirovitch experienced ups and downs, ebbs and flows, much sorrow, and much joy. Always, he lived under the Lord’s protection. When he forgot, he repented. It is an example worth remembering and keeping in mind.

Count George Ignatieff was a long-time parishioner of Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Because of his political and other activities, he was often away. Nevertheless, his son, Andrew Ignatieff, was a long-time and very active parishioner. Likewise, his nephew, Nicholas Ignatieff served very actively and in many capacities in the parish.

After the repose in Christ of Oleg V Rodomar Vukotitch in 1961, there succeeded him as starosta Mr. Karpachenko, Mr. Chukseev and Mr. Stephen Soloweko until 1978.

A forced move ; a new Temple

At the beginning of 1966, the government announced that it was buying up several buildings and houses, including the building of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral on Glen Morris Avenue because of the needs of the University of Toronto. Providentially, at this same time, the Anglican parish of Saint Cyprian, located at the corner of Manning and Follis Avenues, had been closed down (and another one established at Finch Avenue and Ravel Road). Christ the Saviour parish was given an opportunity to purchase this property.

Thus, on 1 June, 1966, the parish of Christ the Saviour acquired a large Temple and the adjoining parish hall for $152,000. Immediately, the repair, rebuilding works and arrangement of the internal premises began. It is necessary to note the unusual level of help and sacrifice of both priest and parishioners, who worked hard and spared no effort and time. At this same time, the parish hall adjoining the Temple was named in honour of the Grand Duchess Olga. Such was the respect and love for her personally by the parishioners.

The Temple was sanctified on 30 October, 1966. Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish) and Bishop Sylvester (Haruns) of Montréal, concelebrated with a large number of clergy, and in the presence of many invited guests.

In 1967, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America (predecessor of The Orthodox Church in America) awarded Father John with the mitre because of his zealous work for the church. He served as a priest of the Canadian diocese for 47 years, and he did this quite often under very trying and difficult circumstances. He was a man of vision and devotion, always faithful to the Holy Orthodox Church, never wavering or compromising with the truths of Orthodoxy.

It is useful to understand that, during his service in Toronto, in effect, Father John worked double-time for the sake of enabling the development of the parish. He also had a small convenience-store business by which he supplemented his family’s income.

Father John Diachina loved music, particularly the music of the Church, and the liturgical choir was always dear to his heart. He attended the choir-practices faithfully, and he joined the members in their singing. He had a voice with a wide range, and he could sing tenor or bass according to the need at the time. Matushka Maria also sang in the choir for many years, as did their daughters, Pauline and Larisa. Janet Thomas, Bill Saunders, German Kurms and others were singing with them by this time.

Father John enjoyed living out his calling as a priest, a fact which was evident in his sermons and in his dealings with his parishioners. He had a good sense of humour, and he was always ready with a joke so as to put people at their ease.

Matushka Maria could be described as an ideal priest’s wife. She was his constant companion and helper. She often accompanied him on his pastoral duties, whether it was visiting parishioners, or helping him as a singer during a panikhida. She always took an active part in the life of the parish, and she was a tireless worker in the sisterhood. Matushka Maria remained an active and visible participant in the life of the parish into her great old age, and she showed her loving care for others. She reposed in Christ in Toronto in 1995, and she was interred beside her husband.

In his last years, when he felt that his health was deteriorating, Father John repeatedly asked to be relieved of his responsibility as pastor of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Toronto. In November, 1975, he told Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns) that he would stay until the mortgage of the church would be paid off (in October, 1976), and that he would then retire : “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace” (Luke 2:29). However, he did not live to see this come to pass. The Mitred Archpriest John Diachina fell asleep in the Lord on 17 January, 1976.

Thus, during the whole post-war period, and the 1950s and 1960s as well, the parish was growing and developing. Of course, the candle-desk was established in the narthex from the time when the parish moved into this building.


Christ the Saviour Sobor Toronto interior.jpg Cathedral interior


Caravan

The International Caravan Festival had its beginning in 1969. It provided an opportunity for Torontonians to meet and experience something of the many cultures represented in Toronto. Christ the Saviour Church entered the festival as a stop on the circuit, and the parishioners offered visitors a taste of Russian food and culture, and tours of the Temple as well. Elaine Soloveko and Elena de Luka were prominent workers in this effort over many years.

Autocephaly

On 10 April, 1970, the Russian-American Metropolia of North America was granted "autocephaly" by its Mother Church, the Russian Orthodox Church. Autocephaly means full independence and becoming a "national" Orthodox Church. By having been granted autocephaly, our Metropolia had finally established its canonical standing with regards to the Moscow Patriarchate - now a Sister-Church, becoming the fifteenth in the list of local Orthodox Churches of the world. At that time, the former Russian-American Metropolia received a new name : The Orthodox Church in America. The head of The Orthodox Church in America at that time was Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish).

After autocephaly was granted from the Mother Church in 1970, the parish of Christ the Saviour underwent difficult times. A large number of parishioners left the parish and joined the parish of Holy Trinity, which is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. However, many of them still could not “find their place” in their new parish, and they founded a new parish (Holy Resurrection Church) on Winona Drive. It should be understood that one major cause of those events was a great misunderstanding about the relationship between The Orthodox Church in America and the Russian Orthodox Church (the Mother Church), which at that time was still harshly persecuted and suffering. Of course, there were also rumours and political pressures involved. Despite these difficulties, Christ the Saviour Cathedral continued to develop. Because of similar differences of opinion, Holy Resurrection Church on Winona Drive left the ROCOR after that Synod of Bishops reconciled with the Moscow Patriarchate in 1994 ; and in 2001, the parish joined a schismatic group of Russian-speakers with their centre in Odessa, Ukraine.

During these years, a smaller replica of the Moscow Kremlin gate and clock was made by a senior member. This replica has remained on display in the lower hall ever since.

Also during these years, Tibor Csonka painted folklore and cultural murals on the walls of the upper and lower halls. These paintings were covered by other painting in 2015.

New priest ; changes

In 1976, after the repose in Christ of the long-time and much-loved pastor, the Mitred Archpriest John Diachina, there ensued a series of meetings between the parish council and Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns) in order to find agreement on who would next come to lead the parish. Ultimately, there was pressure brought to bear on Vladyka Sylvester that the young priest Nicolas Boldireff be appointed. Vladyka Sylvester was reluctant to make the appointment for several reasons, the main one perhaps being his youth and limited experience. He nevertheless yielded to the desire of the parish council about making Father Nicolas rector.

In 1976, the Priest Nicolas Boldireff was transferred from California to Toronto, and he was assigned to be the rector of Christ the Saviour Cathedral. He, his wife Anysia and their children arrived, took up residence in a rather dark apartment behind a store-front. There had not hitherto been the need to secure a residence for the pastor, since Father Diachina had owned his own home.

In 1976, there arrived also at Christ the Saviour Cathedral Alexander I Milochenko. Originally from France, Alexander Ivanovich immediately became involved in the parish council and other parish activities. Father Nicolas is the son of Alexander's god-mother, Matushka Natalia Boldireff, whom he had already known in Paris.

Soon after his arrival, Father Nicolas helped his elder brother Sergei Boldireff come to the sobor in order to lead the singing. Sergei had previously sung in the Don Cossack Choir, and he had considerable experience in both singing and leading singing in worship services. During his lengthy time of service, the choir grew in numbers, in the quality of singing, in the extent of its repertoire, and in its “ésprit-de-corps”. From time to time, concerts were presented in other places in the city. He led the choir until 1993. The choir itself has performed in Montréal, Ottawa, Buffalo, New York City, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, in addition to Toronto's Caravan. The choir also travelled to Europe, where there was a performance in Poland. Matushka Anysia Boldireff usually sang in the choir, and she took up the responsibility of organising and leading the singing in English at Great Vespers on Saturday evenings, and at certain other services.

Bill Saunders was an active member of the choir during these years, as well as before and after, and he was active in parish life in general. A kind and generous person, Bill was descended from a founding family of the parish. He fell asleep in the Lord in late 2014.


Christ the 'Saviour Toronto iconostas.jpg Cathedral iconostas


In 1978, a new iconostas was built, in order to suit the newer surroundings. It was designed by a parishioner, and it was constructed by Alexander Milochenko and others under his leadership. The icongrapher was the Archpriest Theodore Kouphos.

In 1978, Alexander Ivanovich was chosen to be the parish council president (starosta), and he remained in this responsibility until 1980. In that year, for 6 months, Stephen Soloweko returned to the responsibility of serving as starosta. Not long after that, Alexander's wife Sonja became an active member of the Auditing Committee (a responsibility which she carries to this day).

Purchase of the rectory in 1980

In 1980, it was decided that the parish purchase a rectory to be a dwelling for the parish’s pastor. For the previous 4 years, the Boldireff family had been living in rented quarters behind a shop in eastern Toronto. The family found the distance to be inconvenient, and the darkness of the quarters felt oppressive (there were few large windows admitting light). A house on Roxton Road was purchased, not very far from the Temple, and it served the family and the parish throughout Father Boldireff’s time of service.

In the second part of 1980, Alexander I Milochenko was elected once again to serve as the starosta of the parish (which he continued to do until he retired in 2013). During all his years, he supervised a multitude of repairs, many renovation projects, and a major revision of the by-laws of the parish. During the following years, the carpet in the Altar was replaced more than once (thanks to support from the sisterhood), and water was piped into the sacristy.

Alexander Ivanovitch always quickly drew attention to the work in repairs and renovations done with great love by Dmitry Klimov, Vadim Tishensky, John Burnovicz, Tibor Csonka and others. He would also constantly remind everyone about the devoted service of Nikolai Klimov, who was constantly and devotedly present and serving in the Altar. During this time also, a kiosk was established in the narthex, near the candle-desk. This would develop into a source for useful books in both Russian and English, and for icons and Crosses and other items for personal use and for gifts.

More personalities

Father David Belden (a former Anglican who converted to the Orthodox Faith and was later ordained) was at first a visible and active presence in Christ the Saviour Sobor around 1980. However, his concern to try to use much more English language produced tensions. In 1981, Father Belden began to serve completely in English at a chapel in the University of Toronto. Because of the tensions, he moved first to the ROCOR, and this group eventually became the Greek Old Calendar parish of Saint Joseph of Arimathea Orthodox Church in the city.

During the nearly 25 years of the service of the Archpriest Nicolas O Boldireff, there continued to be changes, progress and controversy in the parish. The Vespers service (when it was not a vigil-service) came to be offered mostly in the English language, and there was more of the English language introduced into the Divine Liturgy. More frequent reception of the Holy Mysteries was encouraged. Many different speakers were brought to the parish in order to educate both the parishioners and others. More people began to find the Orthodox Faith and to convert to the Faith in this parish.

Professors Charles Lock and Richard Schneider were 2 persons (each married to a Russian) who became very active under Father Nicolas as teachers and tutors of the Orthodox Faith in the parish. They naturally supported the development of the use of the English language, but there were (as at all times in the history of the parish) others who preferred to keep everything in Slavonic. For those preferring Slavonic, the arguments about the needs of the youth and children in the parish, and about the needs of those who do not understand Russian or Slavonic did not carry weight. Richard Schneider in particular became very active in the parish administration. He represented the parish on the Archdiocesan Council, and he served for very many years on the Canadian Council of Churches, both in the Faith and Witness Commission and in the Justice and Peace Commission.

Nevertheless, 2 women in particular came to the sobor at about this time. Mary Ann Hummel and her daughter Elizabeth Hummel both embraced the Orthodox Faith (not at just the same time). They both did a considerable amount of work in supporting the pastoral labours of the priest, including secretarial and organisational work. They each contributed greatly to the life of the parish. In particular, Elizabeth did immense work in facilitating the 14th All-American Council of The Orthodox Church in America in July, 2005.

After having graduated from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in 1984, Antonina Kemileva-Dunn became an active parishioner, particularly amongst the anglophones. Antonina worked hard over many years as she tried to supplement the Russian-language school with an English-language school which focussed directly upon the Orthodox Faith (usually referred to in Russian as “Zakon Bozhii”). She also was concerned with the English language library. Her daughter, Adanya, began singing in the parish, and she has become a competent opera soprano.

During the 1990s, John Masatoshi Shoji was an active parishioner. An Orthodox student from Japan who was studying in Toronto, he participated in the English-speaking aspects of the life of the parish. In due course, he went to study theology at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, and he then returned to Japan to work and to serve as a layman.

Also at about this time, Alexander Tefft came to Toronto as he continued his studies. He was active in the life of the parish until he went to study at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the seminary, he travelled to the United Kingdom, where he achieved a Ph.D. He was married, and he was then ordained to the Holy Diaconate and to the Holy Priesthood. He is now a chaplain at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, UK.

Next wave of immigration

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the stage was set for large-scale emigration and the resulting expansion of the Russian-speaking “diaspora” in cities like Toronto. In the 1990s, Russian churches, associations and organisations that were established as part of the primary waves of settlement helped receive the largest wave of Russian migrants to arrive in this city. The area around the intersection of Jane Street and Steeles Avenue West in North York became an important receiving area. The community of new arrivals there created new institutions, including newspapers and organisations for the expression of traditional Russian art, music, theatre and dance. Because of the restrictions imposed on the Church in the USSR during the communist period, this new wave was less inclined to be in church, but the Orthodox Faith nevertheless played an important role in the community.

From the beginning, Nicholas Ignatieff was a central figure amongst the many in Christ the Saviour Sobor who were trying to help the new-arrivals to settle. He helped them with difficulties in the paper-work, and with the government agencies. Amongst these concerns were assorted difficulties faced by clergy who were arriving as refugees, and by those clergy whom the bishop invited to immigrate for parish-service. He did more than raise concerns in meetings. He personally took charge of the plight of many persons in need, and he helped them in every way possible. Indeed, he was able to find the right ways for many persons to become productive citizens of Canada. In this regard also, he served in the Canadian Council of Churches in the Justice and Peace Commission.

In 2000, the Orthodox Master of Arts programme was initiated at the University of Toronto under the leadership of Professor Richard Schneider. This programme has continued for nearly 20 years to increase the Orthodox education of competent students, and particularly of those who may wish to teach or to do research. Many of his students, both from this programme and from his courses in York University, have become active parishioners of the sobor. One of his sons is now a schemamonk.

Many arrivals ; departures of clergy ; sowing seeds of new communities ; providing support

In about 1998, the Archpriest Nikolai Nikolaev came to Canada to raise funds for the construction of a cathedral in Ternopil, Ukraine, for Bishop Sergei (Gensitsky) of Ternopil and Kremenets. However, Father Nicolas Boldireff and others persuaded him to stay in Canada in order to give better help from here. Mr. Nikolai Klimov helped his family to immigrate. After he had acquired the necessary visa, Father Nikolai Nikolaev was sent to Ottawa to serve there at the Holy Trinity Sobor, and he prayed for Nikolai Klimov ever afterwards. Loving contacts remained throughout the following decades between Father Nikolaev and the parishioners of this sobor.

Deacon Miroslaw Wojciuk came to Toronto from Poland, and he began to serve at Christ the Saviour Sobor. In 1999, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, and he continued to serve in the sobor for many years.

The Priest Eugeniusz Zdrojewski also came to Toronto from Poland. While he worked in secular employment, he served at the sobor, and in other parishes (including Holy Trinity Sobor, Winnipeg). He also served in the community for many years, although he did not receive pastoral responsibility.

Igumen Nestor (Mikhailetchko) arrived at the sobor. He had come to Canada from Ukraine and Latvia, where he had previously served, and he had begun his service in Canada in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (primarily in Winnipeg). He then moved to Toronto and he was eventually transferred to the Archdiocese of Canada. He served for some time in the sobor. Then, in 2000, he established a mission in North York, which later became Saint Seraphim’s Church. Christ the Saviour Sobor gave considerable financial and material support to this mission over the course of several years as it began to grow and to stabilise. Parishioners and clergy went to visit and to assist in various ways. A time of trouble arose near 2009. Father Nestor left the OCA for a non-canonical Ukrainian jurisdiction (taking some people with him), and the Priest Alexei Vassiouchkine was sent in 2011 to re-build the parish (again with help and support from Christ the Saviour Sobor).

The Priest Omelian Radulovic appeared at the sobor. He served with the other clergy for a time, and he filled in before being transferred.

During the later 1990s, there arose several controversies regarding the behaviours and disposition of Father Nicolas. The differences eventually became unresolvable. On 1 July, 2000, the Archpriest Nicolas Boldireff (who had already not been serving) was released from his responsibility as rector of the sobor. In November, he was transferred to the Diocese of the West, to serve in California.

Deacon Miroslaw Wojciuk was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 1999, and he served as interim rector for 6 months in 2000.

On 15 September, 2000, the Priest Evan Lowig was transferred from Alberta and he was assigned to serve as the rector of Christ the Saviour Sobor. His pastorate would prove to be of short duration because he fell into some difficulties regarding his personality.

Subdeacon Alexander Sulakov (who had come with his family to Toronto several years earlier) was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on 27 August, 2000, in Christ the Saviour Sobor. His father, the Archpriest Pavel Sulakov came from Odessa to visit, and he gave several very useful gifts to the cathedral for liturgical use. In the year 2005, Deacon Alexander travelled to visit his family in Ukraine. While driving, he and his father were killed when their car was struck by a truck on 4 October, 2005. His brother, Alexei Sulakov was badly injured, but he survived. On the site of the death of Deacon Alexander and his father, the Temple of the Protection of the Theotokos was built within 2 years. Believers in that region had tried without success for 20 years to establish a Temple in the village of Novoalekseyevka in that mostly-Muslim region. Two days after the accident, a man who heard about the situation gave the resources necessary for the construction. Soon afterwards, his wife Matushka Anna and their daughter Elizabeth returned to Ukraine. Matushka then became a nun in Kiev. However, their son Yuri remained in Toronto to continue his education, and he remained active in the parish.

On 1 June, 2001, the Priest Evan Lowig was released from his responsibility as the rector of Christ the Saviour Sobor. His departure produced a vacancy which was temporarily filled by several priests.

In 2001, the Podvoriye of Saint Tikhon of Moscow was opened in Toronto. Its first place of worship was in an Anglican cemetery chapel (Saint Jude) in Scarborough. Much later, the community purchased a building which formerly housed a Greek Old-calendarist parish of Saint Joseph of Arimathea. This opening was in part a consequence of the immigration, and in part a consequence of some internal stresses in the sobor at the time.

Geoffrey Korz had come to be an active person amongst the English-speakers of Christ the Saviour Sobor, and in due course, after appropriate study, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate. With his wife, Linda, he commuted from Hamilton. Continuing to take an active part in the life of the sobor, he eventually organised a small community of believers in Hamilton.

In 2001, the Church of All Saints of North America was founded in Hamilton. At first, reader-style services were offered in a domestic chapel.

From 2002, the rector of the Temple was the Archpriest Oleg Kirillow (†2016), who previously had served for over 10 years in Moscow. He had served at the Church of Saint Phillip, Metropolitan of Moscow, on Prospekt Mira Street, and at the Church of the Great Martyr, Saint Catherine on Bolshaya Ordynka Street. This Temple is also the Representation (embassy) Church of The Orthodox Church in America.

Father Oleg put a lot of effort into renovating the Temple, and into nurturing the growth of the parish and the church school as well. He was constantly educating people around him about the principles of Church life. He stirred up and organised many important events in the life of the sobor, such as participating in the bringing over for veneration of the Holy Icon of the Mother of God of Pochaev and in the bringing of the relics of the Holy Prince Vladimir from Ukraine.

In 2003, the Deacon Geoffrey Korz was ordained to the Holy Priesthood for the mission in Hamilton, which had by then found a separate building in which to worship.

In 2003, the University of Toronto Orthodox Chaplaincy of Saint Gabriel was founded. This chaplaincy provided help and guidance to university students through the service of several clergy associated with Christ the Saviour Sobor.

The Archpriest Alexander Shkalov, who had been serving at Saint Euphrosenia’s Byelorussian Church on Davenport Road for some time after his arrival in Canada, began to serve in the Archdiocese of Canada. In 2003, the Mission of Saint Innocent was established in Toronto under his leadership, again with support from Christ the Saviour Sobor. The language of worship was mixed Slavonic and English, and many people participated in this mission. However, in 2005, Father Alexander and his family were requested by a bishop in the USA, and the mission for a time was served by other clergy until it became dormant for about 10 years.

An Albanian mission of Saint Astius was opened also in 2003, with some support from Christ the Saviour Sobor. The community found their way on their own for the most part. The priest who led them at the beginning eventually left Canada. After some conversations with Archbishop Nikon (Liolin), it was decided that the community would continue and be cared for by Bishop Ilia (Katre) of the Albanian diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the USA.

The Priest Nicholas Young was a long-time parishioner at Christ the Saviour Sobor before he went to Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. After he married his wife Ludmila, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate, and then in 2006 to the Holy Priesthood. Upon his ordination, and with the strong encouragement of the rector, the Archpriest Oleg Krillov, the English-language Mission of Saint Nicholas of Myra was established in 2006 in a separate facility, in the basement of Saint Basil's Church at Saint Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. This mission was to a certain extent successful, but various personal difficulties brought about its closure in 2011. Instead, Father Nicholas took up the University Chaplaincy of Saint Gabriel, which he revived.

On 28 September, 2008, the Deacon Roman Pavlov was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. He was assigned to serve as second priest at Christ the Saviour Sobor.

On 1 February, 2012, the Priest Roman Pavlov was released from his duties at Christ the Saviour Sobor, and he was transferred to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

On 10 September, 2012, the Archpriest Oleg Kirillov was released from his responsibilities as rector of Christ the Saviour Sobor, and he was soon given the blessing to retire from active service. He then moved to Russia, to live in Moscow. He lived there in retirement and in failing health until his unexpected repose in the Lord on 18 October, 2016.

In October, 2012, the Archpriest Vasyl Kolega was transferred from Alberta, and he was assigned to serve as the rector of Christ the Saviour Sobor. Since his arrival, the parish has grown very significantly in numbers, and the parish community has become well-known to be a warm, receptive and supportive community. With the blessing of the archbishop, Father Vasyl has welcomed other clergy to serve with him who now live in Toronto under various circumstances. He has also encouraged and supported the presence and development of the English-speaking parishioners. They received their own priest in the person of the Priest Geoffrey Ready, who has the reputation of being an especially competent preacher.

From 15 to 19 November, 2014, the holy wonder-working icon of the Mother of God "The Abbess of the Holy Mount Athos", along with the holy relics of Saint Gabriel of Mount Athos, visited Christ the Saviour Sobor. In addition, on Tuesday, 18 November, an akathist was served before this holy icon at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Dormition, at which several OCA clergy were present.


Icon at Christ the Saviour.jpg Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of Mount Athos


Icon visits Dormition Greek Parish 2014 S.jpg Wonder-working Icon at Dormition Greek Orthodox Cathedral


100 years

In 2015, the parish marked its first 100 years of service in Toronto. On Sunday, 20 October, 2015, Archbishop Irénée (Rochon) led the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Bishop Mstislav (Diachina) of Tikhvin and Lodeinopol, who is the nephew of the long-serving previous rector, the departed Archpriest John Diachina, concelebrated with His Eminence. In addition to the rector of the sobor, Archpriest Vasyl Kolega and the Second Priest, Father Geoffrey Ready, present were the Archpriest John A Jillions (OCA Chancellor) and the Mitred Archpriest Anatoliy Melnyk (Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Canada). Several other clergy from the USA and Canada were also present. As one of the guests said in his greeting, "Today we celebrate a second Pascha". Indeed, the Temple was full of celebrating parishioners and guests. It felt as joyous as the services of the Feast of Pascha. Following the service, Archbishop Irénée, Bishop Mstislav, the clergy and laity attended a banquet. The parish recognised the oldest parishioners of the cathedral by awarding them a special jubilee medal which commemorated the event. This was followed by performances of the church choir and the children’s choir.


20170328100 years parish wmCTSToronto s.jpg Centennial photo


As of 2 May, 2016, the Priest Geoffrey Ready and the English-speaking congregation left Christ the Saviour Sobor and established a new Mission of the Myrrhbearing Women at the University of Toronto.

From that time, the English-language mission of Saint Innocent ceased to exist as the new mission began its life. Instead, as an extra service to parishioners, the cathedral parish continues to offer services in English at 0900 hrs, and Slavonic services at 1030 hrs on Sunday morning.

In October, 2016, the parish was twice grieving upon the sudden and unexpected repose in Christ of 2 priests.

The first was that of Archimandrite Alexander (Pihach), whose frequent presence both as the former chancellor and then as a visitor were much appreciated. He suddenly reposed in Toronto on 7 October from a heart-attack. The first funeral services for him were presided over by Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard) on Wednesday, 12 October, and Thursday, 13 October, 2016. Later, his body was sent to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where there was another funeral service presided over by Archbishop Irénée (Rochon), and where he was interred.

The second was that of the Archpriest Oleg Kirilov, who was living in Moscow in retirement, and who had previously suffered a stroke. Then, on 18 October, 2016, he suffered another major stroke, from which he immediately reposed in the Lord. His funeral services were offered in Moscow, where he was interred. Panikhidas in Canada were served in Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Sobor and in other places as well.

On 23-24 March, 2017, The Archdiocesan Council met in Toronto at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in order to work on plans for the Archdiocesan Assembly to take place Edmonton, Alberta the following July. Vladyka Irénée (Rochon) made also a pastoral visit to the cathedral parish at this time.


Council Meeting March 2017 S.jpg Archdiocesan Council with Vladyka Irénée


Relics ; choir ; church school

In the Temple there are relics of the Venerable Fathers of the Kiev-Pecherska Lavra, relics of the Venerable Elder and Wonder-worker, Saint Herman of Alaska, relics of Saint Luke (Wojno-Jasienietski), Bishop of Simferopol and Crimea.

Elena Oslopova has served for many years as the choir-director of the sobor. The choir of the sobor has had a very good reputation for the beauty, sensitivity and clarity of its singing for very many decades.

The parish has a church school named after Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, where children study the Divine Law (catechism), the Russian language, the history of Russia, Russian literature and drama. Studies are conducted on Saturdays. The school also has a preparation class for children of kindergarten age.

The parishioners seek to support and propagate the true Orthodox Christian Faith in Toronto, and at the same time to preserve Russian Orthodox culture. Therefore, other traditional activities are regularly organised in the parish. They include the Christmas Party (Yolka), Maslenitsa (Pre-Lent) festivities, and of course, the breaking the fast of Great Lent after the services of the Feast of Pascha. There are also an annual bazaar and an annual summer picnic.

Pokrov (Protection) Sisterhood

From the very beginning of the life of the parish, the Pokrov Sisterhood has been active and supportive of every aspect of the life of the community. The women of the parish have provided a great deal of financial support throughout the last century. It is they who have often provided the funds for purchasing vestments for the clergy and the Altar-servers. They have often provided for other practical liturgical needs as well from time to time. At the present time, there are many more younger persons involved in the life of the sisterhood than before, and they participate in different ways from the women of other times. However, of the many hard-working women of the past 50 years, the following are amongst the most visible :

 Tatiana Alexeichenko, Mrs. Bokevich, Maria Csonka, Valentina 'N', Lee Hertzik, Valentina Ignatovich, 
 Marfa Stepanova.

Every Sunday, after the Divine Liturgy, the Pokrov Sisterhood invites everyone downstairs to the hall to have lunch together, so that parishioners and guests of the parish may enjoy some delicious home-cooked food after the service and informally spend time together.

After Russia and New York City, Toronto has the largest population of people of Russian descent (the Greater Toronto Area numbers about 250,000 Russian-speaking people). A majority of that population arrived after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, but the origins of the community date back to perhaps the late 19th century. The stories of Torontonians of Russian descent reflect the complexity of their homeland, which is a vast geographical area encompassing many diverse cultural groups. Rooted in more than 100 years of history, the Russian community in Toronto is today fully entrenched in the historical narrative of the city. Services are held in the Temple on Saturdays, Sundays and feasts in the Church Slavonic language.


This parish follows the Old (Julian) Calendar.

The Altar Feast-day of this parish is the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple of the Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem, 26/13 September.

In 2017, the pastor is the Archpriest Vasyl Kolega.


Address :

Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Sobor (Cathedral)

823, Manning Avenue

Toronto, Ontario

M6G 2W9

Telephone : 416-534-1763 (parish office)

Web-site : http://www.christthesavioursobor.com/?q=en


Directions :

Toronto is 542 km (337 mi) southwest of Montréal, Québec, by car, using Highway #401. From Ottawa, it is 450 km (280 mi) to the southwest, using Highways #416 south and #401 west. From Detroit, Michigan, it is 330 km (205 mi) northeast using Highway #401.

Arriving from the east, take exit 365 for Allen Road South. Use the left lane to merge onto Allen Road. Keep left to stay on Allen Road.

Turn right onto Eglinton Avenue West. Keep to the left. Turn left onto Winona Drive. Turn left onto Ava Road. Turn right at the first cross-street onto Atlas Avenue. Turn left onto Vaughan Road. Turn right onto Arlington Avenue. Turn left onto Saint Clair Ave West. Turn right onto Christie Street. Turn left onto Dupont Street. Turn right onto Manning Avenue. The Temple is on the left.

Arriving from the west, take the exit for Allen Road South, and follow the previous directions.

From within the city, the nearest major intersection is Bathurst Street & Dupont Street.

Approaching from the south, turn left from Bathurst Street onto Follis Avenue, north of Bloor Street.

Approaching from the north, turn onto Dupont Street, and turn south on Manning Avenue, or from Bathurst Street turn right onto Follis Avenue.

From Bloor Street, drive north on Euclid Avenue until Follis Avenue, and turn left.

Parking :

There is limited parking at limited times on the streets near the Temple.

Visitors to the Temple may use the church parking right behind the building (entrance from Follis Avenue). Visitors to the Temple may also park their cars all year round on Saturdays and Sundays all day long at the parking lot near the Palmerston Avenue Junior Public School, which is located at the intersection of Follis Avenue and Palmerston Avenue, very near to the cathedral.

By bus, tram, subway (TTC) :

Exit the subway at the Christie subway station (Bloor line) on Dupont Street. Walk east on Dupont Street, turn right on Manning Avenue, walk several blocks south.

There is a TTC stop at Bloor Street and Manning Avenue. Walk several blocks north on Manning Avenue.

There is a TTC stop on Dupont Street at Hammond Place. Walk one block west on Dupont Street, turn left on Manning Avenue, and walk several blocks south.

There is a TTC stop on Bathurst Street near Olive Avenue or Wells Street. Walk south to Follis Avenue, turn West and walk several blocks to Manning Avenue.


Archpriest Vasyl Kolega

Telephones : 416-522-5237 (mobile) ; 416-534-1763 (office)


Reference :

Parish website


Additional information :

Archdiocesan listing

OCA listing

Heritage description

Article on the former Saint Cyprian's Anglican Church

Deacon Alexander Sulakov obituary

Canadian Encyclopaedia re Russian Canadians

Orthodox immigration to Canada

ROCOR and The Orthodox Church in America

Russian Canadian Cultural Aid Society

Vladimir Handera article

2014 visit of the Icon "Abbess of the Holy Mount Athos"

100th Anniversary report

Photos of local funeral services for Archimandrite Alexander (Pihach)

'Toronto's Christ the Saviour Sobor Celebrates Bicentennial, 75th Anniversary with Visit of Metropolitan, Bishop' in "Canadian Orthodox Messenger" (Winter 1994/1995), p. 9.

'Fr Nicolas Boldireff's 25th Anniversary, Altar Feast Celebrated Same Weekend' in "Canadian Orthodox Messenger" (Winter 1995/1996), pp. 7-8.