History

Our Church in Port Credit
The First 150 Years ...



From Ancient Times ...

The Trinity Church Port Credit founded in 1867, would grow from one church to a coming together of  three churches all in one place but with parishioners whose faith and devotion would persist for 150 years and counting.

The first church was a small white board and batten structure, built on the brow of a hill overlooking the marshy banks of the river in the settlement of Port Credit.  This was an area full of the early history of Canada.  Archeologists have shown that 10,000 years ago, there had been Aboriginal settlements.  By 1700,  the Mississauga, part of the Ojibwa tribe, were living by the mouth of the Credit River.  They referred to the river as "Missinih" or "Trusting Water", but later due to the custom of trading on credit, it came to be known as the Credit River.

Early on, most trade was with the French but later the British became dominant and by 1798 had built a trading post on the east bank of the river.  As trade declined, Indigenous peoples tended to settle into farming.  After the American Revolution, the British government began purchasing large tracts of land for incoming Loyalists forcing Aboriginal groups into specific areas along Sixteen Mile and Twelve Mile creeks and the "Mississauga Tract" north of Eglinton Ave. where they could do minimum cultivation.

The British were relentless in their pursuit of rich acres of land and by 1820, the Mississauga retained only two hundred acres on the east side of the river, site of the Mississauga Golf and Country Club. This land was never surrendered and became a land claim in the 1980s for which the Mississauga received some thirteen million dollars.  Land for the village of Port Credit was surveyed in 1834 and construction of the harbour began.  By 1847, as disease and illness had severely reduced the numbers of the Mississauga and most relocated to the New Credit Reserve near Brantford, Ontario.

With the departure of the Mississauga, the Credit River opened up to commercial expansion through the growth of  a busy harbour.  Early on there were setbacks such as the destruction of the west end due to a great fire and the building of railway lines north of the village, taking away valuable commerce.  But by the end of the century, the economy improved.  Stonehooking was a lucrative if dangerous business and larger industries such as the brickworks moved in to provide employment.  Port Credit became a police village in 1909 and was incorporated in 1914.

1867 - The Church of Trinity Port Credit is Established on the Brow of the Hill

It was during this last half of the century that villagers met in private homes or meeting halls for religious services.  Some travelled as far as St. Peter's Erindale, established in 1825, for Church of England services.  Ultimately, a strong movement began for a church in Port Credit.  In 1866, villagers approached The Rev. Charles Bethune at St.Peter's, to hold occasional services in Port Credit.  At first, services were held in a hall above a livery stable but soon, this was too small.  It was time to build a church.

Local merchant, James Hamilton gave land along the edge of the Credit River. as the site for the new church.  The congregation enthusiastically helped both with the building and the fund raising and soon  Trinity, Port Credit was completed and opened for divine worship in the fall of 1867.  The Rev. Bethune wrote enthusiastically - The contributions at the opening services were sufficient to pay off all liabilities and we began free of debt!  Trinity continued as a mission of St. Peter's for 47 years. By 1914, the Diocese of Toronto recognized that  the church could function on its own as an independent parish.

Almost immediately, it was clear that the church had to be  modernized and enlarged.  It was raised on a basement foundation and covered with brick.  Funds were raised as families were asked to "buy" 500 to 2000 bricks depending on their circumstances. By 1926, the rector, the Rev. Henry Earle asked the congregation to consider a new church!  Gradually, the church we know today was begun.  The entrance porch at the base of the tower and then the first unit of the stone nave was built in 1931. Post war, the present chancel was completed in 1949, but expansion of the main building was desperately needed.  With the arrival of the Rev. John Langstone in 1950 came fresh energy and construction began on the new church in 1954 and completed  in 1955.

As Canada celebrated its Centennial in 1867, so did Trinity Church.  In 1968, we welcomed the parish of St.Nicholas, Lakeview which had been forced to close its doors. 

1968 - St. Nicholas, Lakeview joins Trinity

The history of St. Nicholas was all too brief - just 50 years.  From the very beginning, parishioners had to work hard to raise funds to build a small frame church on Lakeshore Road at Edgeleigh Ave.  In 1930, it was replaced by a yellow stucco building which was finally completed in 1956.  But in 1959, after years of WWII and Hurricane Hazel, St. Nicholas was still a mission parish and unable to support itself.

By 1968, after years of trying to keep their church going, St Nicholas, Lakeview was deemed unable to continue, was dissolved and amalgamated with Trinity, Port Credit.  The Gallery Chapel of St. Andrew in Trinity was renamed and dedicated in honour of the Church of St. Nicholas.  Trinity was enriched by many gifts from St. Nick's.  Of special note is the red Sanctuary Lamp  which hangs in the chancel

2015 - St. Paul's, Lorne Park is Amalgamated with Trinity, Port Credit.


As early as 1902, Anglicans were meeting in a mission house on Lorne Park Road.  By 1913-14, a tiny frame church, 17' by 38' was built on a small piece of donated land. By 1915, was dedicated as St. Paul's, Lorne Park. and a brass cross was presented to the church.  The congregation grew, while services were often conducted by divinity students and Holy Communion was administered by their professor every fourth Sunday.  It wasn't until after the end of WWII that  full-time incumbent was appointed.

In 1947, a rectory was built and construction began on a parish hall with kitchen and washroom and were almost finished by February 1951. Tragically, fire broke out, probably in the new kitchen, and swept through the whole church.  Lack of water to fight the fire meant almost all was lost.  The cross, Communion vessels, and church records were saved.

As the congregation met in a garage, donations of money and furnishings came in from all over the country.  Plans were underway for a new more substantial building.  Digging started in the fall of 1951and the finished  church was dedicated in February, 1952!  Members were raising funds to equip the new church.  Land was acquired for parking and by 1962, work began on enlarging the Narthex and adding a Christian Education wing and in January, 1965 St. Paul's, Lorne Park celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Then the winds of change began affecting St. Paul's and so many other churches throughout the country.  Numbers diminished and funds were slow to come in to keep the church alive.  One hundred years after it began with such promise, parishioners saw the doors of their church close.

St. Paul, Lorne Park was amalgamated with Trinity on September 25, 2015. 

2017 - Trinity-St. Paul, Port Credit is the Newer Stronger Presence on the Brow of the Hill

This history doesn't give the whole story.  While it tells some of the stories of three parishes, it doesn't tell of the faith, and devotion of individuals and families.

 

Our Cemetery

Trinity Cemetery

A Peaceful, Relaxing Place to just 'be'.


Experts call it “a mid 19th century Victorian gem”, the cemetery nestled next to Trinity Anglican Church Port Credit in Mississauga began shortly after the church was established in 1867. Due to their age and weathering of long years, many of the earliest gravestornes are difficult to decipher, however some show dates of 1872, 1873 and 1885.

The cemetery is currently undergoing a two-year revitalization project under the direction of Alan Zimmerman.  

Update - The cremation graves area reveals a well groomed attractive and restful spot beneath the yew arch.There are new railings in the 'yew arch' that have been designed to match the rail around the Adamson crypt.  The pebble platforms have also been completed.  

When finished there will be quiet areas of meditation overlooking the park and Credit River.
 

You are always welcome to visit the peaceful serenity of our gardens.