Anglican Church in Ontario in the 19th Century

Ecclesiastical Province of OntarioRev. C. H. Mockridge traced the development of the Anglican Church in Ontario through biographies of the provinces first bishops.

When the Diocese of Quebec was formed in 1793 it included Upper Canada (Ontario). In 1800 Upper Canada had just 3 Anglican clergymen, based in Bath, Kingston and Niagara.

John Strachan John Strachan, first Bishop of Toronto
The number of clergy had grown to about 100 when the Diocese of Toronto was formed in 1839. John Strachan was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and came to Canada at age 21 to be a school teacher.   During Bishop Strachan's episcopate the see was subdivided to the dioceses of Huron and Ontario.

Benjamin Cronyn Benjamin Cronyn, first Bishop of Huron
Southwestern Ontario was separated from the Diocese of Toronto in 1857 to form the Diocese of Huron.   Its first bishop, Rev. Benjamin Cronyn, was born in Ireland and came to Canada at the age of 30.   He became the first Synodically elected Bishop in the Anglican world.   Bishop Cronyn was strongly evangelical in his theology compared with the Tractarian Bishop Strachan.

John T. Lewis John Travers Lewis, first Bishop of Ontario
In 1861 the eastern part of Upper Canada was separated from the Diocese of Toronto to form the Diocese of Ontario.   John Travers was born in Ireland where he became a priest.   He became Bishop of Ontario at the age of 37 and remained bishop until 1900.   Bishop Travers consecration in Kingston, Ontario marked the first time the ceremony had taken place in Canada.  

John Horden John Horden, first Bishop of Moosonee
The Diocese of Moosonee was created in 1872 which along with Rupert's Land, Saskatchewan and Athabasca formed the ecclesiascial province of Rupert's Land.   John Horden had been born in Exeter, England and had come to James Bay as a missionary twenty years earlier.   He learnt Cree, Eskimo and Ojibbeway and translated and printed translations of the Gospels.

Thomas B. Fuller Thomas Brock Fuller, first Bishop of Niagara
The Diocese of Toronto was further sub-divided in 1875 when the Diocese of Niagara was formed with its see city in Hamilton.   Thomas Fuller was born in Kingston, Ontario descended from Archbishop Loftus, one of the founders of Trinity College, Dublin.   His wife's wealth allowed him to work gratuitously for many years. It was his wife who made the first contribution to the endowment to establish the Diocese of Niagara.

Charles Hamilton Charles Hamilton, first Bishop of Ottawa
When the Diocese of Ottawa was separated from the Diocese of Ontario in 1896 the second Bishop of Niagara, The Right Rev. Charles Hamilton was chosen as the first Bishop of Ottawa.   Rev. Hamilton had been born near Ottawa and had been educated at Oxford University, England.   He had turned down the chance to become bishop of the missionary Diocese of Algoma in 1873.

The ecclesiastical province of Ontario was formed in 1912 when the dioceses of Algoma, Huron, Niagara, Ontario, Ottawa and Toronto separated from the ecclesiastical province of Canada and the Diocese of Moosonee separated from the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land.   Bishop Charles Hamilton became its first Metropolitan.

The ecclesiastical province stretches from the northwest of Ontario, through the civil province, and into the northeastern part of Quebec.

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