The church now seen at Heath and Yonge is the third Christ Church Deer Park building. Two earlier buildings were located in the gore between Lawton Boulevard and Yonge Street a little to the north. See Lawton Park picture.
The first Christ Church Deer Park in 1895
The first frame structure, shown above, was built in the Lawton Gore in 1870, which was, then as now, filled with fine trees (then Maples & Oaks; now Linden & Norway Maple). The entrance to the church was through “a quaint little porch, but a very pretty one.” In 1881, a board-and-batten church-schoolhouse was built behind the original church. When the parish grew; a larger brick church was erected on the gore lot and opened 1910 (see second picture below). The old frame church was moved on rollers along Lonsdale Road to Russell. Hill Road, and became Grace Church on-the-Hill. The Sunday school house ended up on Glenrose Avenue as the studio of the sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle.
Loring and Wyle studio Glen Rose Avenue
The second Christ Church Deer Park in 1910
In 1922, the Citypaid $92,000. for the Lawton Gore site to use for a short turn loop on the Yonge Street streetcar line. The TTC used the Lawton Loop until the subway opened in 1954. The plan was to sell the site for use as a gas station, but strong opposition. was mounted by the community, so the City made it into a parkette. The old stone retaining. wall remains as a reminder that, for 32 years, streetcars turned here to travel back south.
Christ Church Deer Park in the snows of 1979
The corner stone for the present stone gothic structure, above, was laid on June 17, 1922, and the new church was consecrated on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1923. Information from “Historical Walking Tour of Deer Park” by Joan Kinsella. Further information may be found at http://www.christchurchdeerpark.org/