History

The building now known as Cecil Community Centre was built in 1890 by architects Knox & Elliott as the Church of Christ.  By the 1920s, it was converted to a synagogue for the Ostrovtzer congregation, with substantial renovations, including demolition of the original church spire and the addition of marble tablets and a brass chandelier with a Star of David – features which remain to this day.  By the 1950s, the congregation had moved and the building changed hands again; over the next 20 years, it was variously a Chinese Catholic centre and the first home of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto, among other community uses, before falling into disrepair.  In the 1970s, the building was acquired by the City of Toronto and restored for community purposes.  It opened as the Cecil Street Community Centre in March, 1978.

For more information concerning 58 Cecil Street, see:

Historicist:  The Church on Cecil Street, by Kevin Plummer

Heritage Toronto

Ontario Jewish Archives – walking tours of Kensington Market