St. John's Convent
North York ON

M2M 2E8





Who we are

St. John's Convent is called to be a strong centre of prayer, community, and ministry which nurtures and supports the life of the whole Sisterhood.

As the Community’s Mother House, it is the place where the Reverend Mother has her residence, where the whole Community gathers to celebrate and renew our common life in Christ, and from which our discernment and decision making flows.

The Sisters’ library, the Associate library, and our archives are housed at the Convent, and provide resources both for the Community and for visitors.

The Convent is the place where new members are welcomed for discernment and education, and also where our infirmary offers care to our elder members, enabling them to remain part of our family life and ministry throughout their lives.



Church Address

St. John's Convent
233 Cummer Avenue
North York, ON M2M 2E8
Canada
Phone: 416-226-2201
Fax: 416-226-2131
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Church Pastor

Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert
Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert
Rector
233 Cummer Avenue
North York, ON M2M 2E8
Canada
Phone: 416-226-2201
Fax: 416-226-2131
Download Rector Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert vCard   Edit



Quote of the Day
Psalms 95:1

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

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Leadership

Leader Name:
Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert   Edit
Leader Position:
Rector   Edit
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416-226-2131   Edit
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Driving Directions

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233 Cummer Avenue, North York, ON
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Travel/Directions Tips

St. John’s Convent is located in a quiet urban area of North Toronto adjacent to 25 acres of parkland that guests are free to enjoy. We are easily accessible from the airport via major highways, and from downtown Toronto via public transit. While we have ample parking, we encourage ecological responsibility in the use of public transit and car-pooling when possible.

Getting to The Convent

BY CAR OR TAXI

From East or West Take Highway 401 to the Bayview Exit; exit onto Bayview Avenue northbound. Proceed about 3 km, to Cummer Avenue. Turn left on Cummer and go about 1 km. The Convent is on the left, just west past the entrance to St. John’s Rehab. Pull into the Convent drive, turn left after the chapel and stop at the front door. Ring the bell (right of post), enter vestibule and wait for someone to open the door. Parking is available in the Convent lot.

FROM PEARSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Follow directions above, travelling east along the 401 to Bayview Avenue. If you come by taxi, ask for a Flat Rate Taxi.

FROM DOWNTOWN TORONTO

Travel north on Bayview to Cummer Avenue. Proceed as above. From north, travel south on Bayview to Cummer Avenue. Turn right, and proceed as above.

BY TTC From downtown (including Union Station)

Take the Yonge Street subway north to Finch Station (the last stop). From Finch Station, take the Cummer 42 bus to the stop outside Cummer Lodge and Willowdale Manor (the first stop after Willowdale Avenue). Walk east 1/2 block to the Convent driveway.

BY TTC From the airport

From ground level of either terminal, take the “Rocket” bus, which runs about every 15 minutes and goes to the Kipling subway station. From there take subway east to Bloor Street, then transfer to the Yonge line north to Finch Station. TTC route planner »

WALK

Walk east on Bishop Ave. to Willowdale Ave. Turn left on Willowdale and walk to Cummer. Turn right on Cummer and walk past Willowdale Manor and Cummer Lodge until you see the Sisterhood’s sign at our driveway (about 20 minutes)   Edit


Parking

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St. John's Convent Service Times

REGULAR CHAPEL AND MEAL SCHEDULE

Monday (Sisters’ Grace Day)

NO SERVICES IN CHAPEL
7:45 am - Breakfast to 8:30 am
12:30 pm - Dinner
5:00 pm - Supper

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

7:45 am - Breakfast to 8:30 am
8:30 am - Morning Prayer
12 noon - Holy Eucharist
12:45 pm - Dinner
5:00 pm - Evening Prayer
5:30 pm - Supper
8:10 pm - Compline (Night Prayer)

Saturday

7:45 am - Breakfast to 8:30 am
8:30 am - Morning Prayer
12 noon - Holy Eucharist
12:45 pm - Dinner
5:00 pm - Evening Prayer & Compline
5:30 pm - Supper

Sunday

8:00 am - Holy Eucharist
9:00 am - Breakfast
12:15 pm - Contemplative Mid-day Praise
12:30 pm - Dinner
5:00 pm - Evening Prayer
5:30 pm - Supper (usually talking)

Service Times last updated on the 18th of October, 2019
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History of St. John's Convent, North York ON

The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine was founded on September 8, 1884, when our Mother Foundress, Hannah Grier Coome made her life vows in the Community of St. Mary in Peekskill, NY, and at the same time became the Reverend Mother of a brand new Anglican community in Toronto.

When Mother Hannah and Novice Aimee returned to Toronto, they lived for a while at Bishop Strachan School where Hannah’s sister was the headmistress. Early in December they moved to a small house on Robinson Street which had begun life as a stable and had recently been used by the families of two working men.

They attended Saint Matthias Church, the only Anglican church that would accept nuns in their parish, and taught Sunday School and gathered children in as they visited from house to house to find out the needs of the people. They soon began the daily carrying of food to the sick and aged, then the provision of a dinner for convalescents, chiefly young mothers, twice a week at ‘Saint John’s House”, as the first Convent was called.

The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine was founded in 1884 by a Canadian woman, Hannah Grier Coome. She grew up in Carrying Place and in Belleville, Ontario; married an architect; and went to live in England where her husband was employed by an engineering firm.

While in England, Mrs. Coome came to know the Sisters of St. Mary, an Anglican community in Wantage. Soon after she and her husband returned to Canada in 1881, her husband died and she began to think about going back to England and joining the sisters at Wantage.

Before the 1880s, there was no religious community for women in Canada, although there were many in England and the United States.

In the meantime a group of devout Anglican men and women in Toronto felt there would be great benefit in establishing a women’s religious community in Canada and so they formed a committee to begin raising funds to establish a sisterhood.

When the committee learned that Mrs. Coome hoped to join the English Sisters of St. Mary in Wantage, they suggested that she stay in Canada instead and found a new community. Mrs. Coome came to believe this was a genuine call from God, and so she agreed.

Since there was no community in Canada where she could go for her training, she went to an American community, the Sisters of St. Mary in Peekskill, New York, for two years. In 1884 she made her vows and returned to Toronto, where several young women were waiting to join her in establishing the new community.

Before they had a chance to settle in Toronto, however, they were called to go out west to Moose Jaw to nurse the soldiers in the Northwest Rebellion.

On returning to Toronto in 1885, the sisters moved into a house on Robinson Street that had been acquired by the committee. Shortly after, they acquired the house next door, on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Robinson Street, where they opened the first surgical hospital for women in Toronto.

Since that time, our community has pioneered in training nurses, in convalescent care, and in rehabilitation; we have administered schools and an orphanage; worked with the mentally handicapped; ministered to the elderly; and worked with the poor in large cities and depressed rural areas.

At different times in our history we have had houses in Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and New York state, as we have responded to Christ’s call to minister to the many different needs of God’s children.

In recent years our community has become active in several other areas of the church’s life. We have taken a leading role in liturgical renewal in the church by making active use of the Book of Alternative Services and other materials, some written by our own sisters (including hymns); and by active participation on the Hymn Task force and in contributions to the Book of Common Praise.

We have become more active in praying and working for unity in Christ’s church, and various ecumenical groups meet regularly at the Convent. We strive for friendships with members of other faiths. And a number of our sisters are active in various Anglican and ecumenical organizations, including those working on issues of peace and justice.

As the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine grows into its second century, we pray that we may continue to be open to respond to the needs of the church and the world as God’s will is made known to us.   Edit


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The power of Christian prayer "Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended upon man."
Francis J. Spellman
This page was last updated on the 18th of October, 2019
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