St Paul's Basilica (Toronto)


Toronto . Canada
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St. Paul's Basilica is the oldest Roman Catholic congregation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located in the Corktown neighborhood just east of downtown near the intersection of Queen and Parliament streets at 83 Power Street.



The parish was established in 1822 by James Baby when the York region was part of the Diocese of Kingston and was the only Roman Catholic parish between Kingston and Windsor. The original structure was constructed of red brick on the same site. To serve the expanding Irish immigrant community, a school opened soon after the church. When the Diocese of Toronto was separated from the Diocese of Kingston in 1842, St. Paul's served as pro-cathedral until St. Michael's Cathedral was completed in 1848.



The church is housed in an Italianate structure designed by Joseph Connolly and built in 1889 that is based on the design of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. The new building was necessary to house the growing congregation.



The first Catholic cemetery in Toronto opened east of the church in 1822. The large increase in the Catholic population caused by Irish immigration quickly filled the cemetery to capacity and was replaced by St. Michael's Cemetery in 1857.



It was designated a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1999.
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