Our Church dates back to 1844 when a large number of families withdrew from what is now St. Andrew’s Church to form the “Free” Church. Worship services were held in the old log school house on the present site of the Central High School.
The first permanent church of this group of families was built on the south east corner of St. Vincent & Norman Streets. Later, when the congregation had outgrown the Norman Street building, plans were made to build on the present site; the Church was consecrated in January 1873. This was a fine building with a steeple 211 feet high.
This rare view shows the back of the first Knox Presbyterian Church built on the Northwest corner of Ontario and Waterloo Street. Consecrated in 1873. This photo was taken when the new Sunday School addition was added to the rear of the original church in 1906-07 and its clean fresh brick is quite visible in this photo. This new addition survived the fire and is still in use today. Its forms a part of the present day church which was dedicted in 1915.
Unfortunately, it was this spire that was struck by lightning May 13, 1913, about 1:00 a.m. The resulting fire not only destroyed the sanctuary; Police Chief John McCarthy, Const. Matthew Hamilton and fire Chief Hugh Durkin were killed as they helped to fight the flames. The Sunday School area at the north end of the Church had been added in 1907 and escaped the fire, and continues to be used at the present time.
The Present building, erected to replace the destroyed Church was dedicated on Sunday, March 21st, 1915. The total cost, including the organ was about $95,000.00.