Portuguese Seventh-Day Adventist Church

While the Portuguese are predominately Roman Catholic, some belong to other Christian denominations, including Pentecostal, Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist Churches. The Portuguese Seventh Day Adventist Congregation relocated here around 1970.

The building here, at the north-west corner of Palmerston Boulevard and College Street, began as College Street Baptist Church and was officially opened in September 1889. It was designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Langley & Burke. The congregation which was established in 1872, had met for nearly three decades in a modest church at College and Lippincott.

Portuguese immigrants began to arrive in Canada in substantial numbers during the 1950s. They had been recruited by the Canadian government to work as farm labourers, but after completing their agreed tasks, many resettled in the cities where they worked in construction or in industry. The growth of the Portuguese population in Toronto was rapid. In 1955, there were fewer than 100 in the city; by 1962, the number had grown to 10,000; by 1971 there were almost 50,000. The 1991 Canadian census listed 140,910 people of Portuguese origins living in the Toronto area. They first settled in the Kensington Market and Alexandra Park areas of Toronto. The community pushed west and north to Dupont Street. In the 1970s, a Canadian-trained second generation emerged, producing a wide variety of professionals of Portuguese descent.

Information obtained from “Historical Walking Tour of Kensington Market & College Street “ by Barbara Myrvold. Which is recommended as a source of information on the history of this area.