Parkdale Presbyterian Church, Dunn Ave. s. of Queen West, west side. Circa 1910

A SOLID GOTHIC EDIFICE with the faintest of Romanesque touches, Parkdale Presbyterian was the second most important church in Parkdale, after Parkdale Methodist, just down the street at King.

The assembly line of artists who hand-painted photos for Valentine & Sons had to make a lot of educated guesses when they worked, and whatever unknown hand tinted this photo guessed that Parkdale Presbyterian, like almost every other major structure in the city, was made of red brick. They were wrong; the church was actually built with a buff yellow brick more like the addition to the rectory on the left.

The expansion of the rectory gives some idea of the vigour and importance of Parkdale Presbyterian in west-end Toronto. Thanks to a wave of immigration from Scotland and the north of England, Presbyterian and Methodist congregations and their prominent members set the tone for social and business life in Toronto throughout late 19th and early 20th century Toronto, creating a city known for its sternness, industry, and moral probity. What Toronto wasn't known for was extrvagance or an excess of civic frivolity; that was regarded as Montreal's particular talent, and one that most of Toronto thought happily abjured.