70th Anniversary with the church building background

Our Parish History

St. Margaret of Scotland Parish

The history of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish begins on September 20, 1950. When the area north of Wilson Avenue began to develop, His Eminence James C. Cardinal McGuigan established a parish on a site at Ridley Boulevard and Avenue Road. This parish would include some of the terretories of Blessed Sacrament Parish and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

It was to be called St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland Parish, and Rev. Melville J. Bolan was named pastor. Rev. Bolan made immediate plans for the erection of the parish hall, hiring James Haffa as the architect. The parishioners started a fund to finance the building, and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish gave generously of their facilities to aid in the fundraising efforts. Rev. Bolan used St. Eugene's Chapel as his parish church until St. Margaret's Hall was opened in 1951. The schedule of Masses then was two Masses at St. Eugene's Chapel and two Masses at in the parish hall. Before the church was completed St. Eugene's Chapel had four Masses as well as those being said in the parish hall. The Basilian Fathers from St. Michael's College School helped with the extra Masses during these years.

Now that the Hall was built, efforts were concentrated on raising funds for the new Church. With the Building Fund Drive every organization in the parish did something to raise money. There was something going on all the time. The Holy Name Society put some memorable 50/50 Club Draws - the prize  being a car. Those draws made for lots of fun and excitement and raised a considerable amount of money. The C.W.L. had yearly bazaars and special dinners at the bargain price of $2.50 and of course, the Silver Teas on special occasions. The Adult Choir had Annual Card Parties with prizes, entertainment, lunch and favours. 

Servos and Cauley Architects, were chosen to design the Church, and construction began in the Spring of 1957. Due to the generosity of the parishioners and the business acumen of Rev. Bolan, the debt on St. Margaret's Church, Hall and Rectory was almost paid before its completion.

St. Margaret's Church was completed and on December 21, 1957, the formal blessing by Cardinal McGuigan was held. At the laying of the cornerstone, the Cardinal also placed a list in it of Memorial gifts used in the fabric and furnishings of the church. The cornerstone is inscribed "His Eminence James C. Cardinal McGuigan dedicated this Church in honour of St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland and the Blessed Marguerite Bourgeoys on the feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle, the 21st Day of December 1957."


The Church's interior features stained glass windows depicting patroness St. Margaret, Saints Marguerite Bourgeoys, Bridget of Sweden, Eugene and Charles Borromeo.

The four large statues in the church as well as the Stations of the Cross are hand carved in wood and were made by the Passion Players of Oberammagau, Germany.

The interior of  the church has changed since 1957 to conform to the Second Vatican Council's Liturgical reforms, however the unique and beautiful stained glass windows, Stations of the Cross and statues remain in their original beauty. Extensive renovations to St. Margaret's Church were completed in 1979. 


St. Eugene's Chapel (Parish Mission Church)

St. Eugene's Chapel is located at Regina Avenue and Bathurst Street. This chapel was established by the Irish and Italian residents who moved into this area in the 1930s. In 1939, these people decided to organized their own Sunday services. The basement of a house was used as a chapel and Mass was celebrated each week. Worshippers were required to bring thier own chairs!

In 1942, permission was granted by Cardinal McGuigan to buy a piece of land and build a church with the stipulation that a separate school also be established. The building was completed and St. Eugene's became a Mission of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

In 1949, Rev. Bolan was appointed to Our Lady of Assumption Parish on Bathurst Street. There was no church there yet and Rev. Bolan sought permission to use St. Eugene's Chapel as the poineer church for the proposed Assumption Church. The Chapel was renovated and repainted and the first mass in the renovated chapel was to be said on Sunday morning in late November 1950. However, disaster fell and probably due to a malfunction in the new furnace, the Chapel went up in smoke.

Following the fire, when the congregation arrived for the big celebration, the Chapel was damaged beyond use, but they found buses waiting to convey them to Loretto Abbey for Mass. Next, the owners of the Glenview Theatre on Avenue Road offered their facilities for Sunday Mass and the Christmas Eve Mass of 1950 was celebrated there.

The Chapel was renovated and re-opened in March 1951.

In 1950, Rev. Bolan was called upon to organize a new parish to be called St. Margaret Queen of Scotland.