Friday, December 30, 2005

Best Place for Weekday Mass in Toronto

I often attend Mass when I can during the lunch hour in downtown Toronto. I usually hit St. Michael's Cathedral near the Eaton Centre, and have also enjoyed St. Basil's on Bay Street just north of Wellesley, and St. Patrick's near the Art Gallery of Toronto.

But the best place, hands down? The University of Toronto's very own St. Thomas Aquinas Church attached to the Newman Centre, 50 Hoskin Ave at St. George St. on the U of T campus. Aquinas isn't just a school chapel either - it's a full-fledged Parish of the Archdiocese of Toronto serving the University and surrounding community. The gothic design is inspiring:
The resulting one-storey limestone structure was designed in the style of 15th century Gothic architecture. The exterior walls were composed of coursed broken face Credit Valley limestone and ashlar Indiana limestone, topped by a roof composed of gray slate and copper. The church design features a nave and aisle plan with deep sanctuary and sacristy. The interior of the church is quite beautiful with arch braced trusses and an exposed roof made of dark stained British Columbia fir. The design originally featured white and yellow leaded glass Gothic windows with diamond panes to allow natural light to pour into the interior and two traditional stained glass windows near the entrance of the church honouring St. Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Newman.
Quiet meditation on the Liturgy of the Hours is not uncommon preceding Mass, and the church clearly acts as the necessary touch-point for the University's Catholic community, with weddings and baptisms being common. Communion is always received under both species (Body and Precious Blood) by all the faithful present during each Mass.

If you find yourself anywhere near the U of T's downtown campus near Queen's Park, be sure to drop by - you won't be sorry.

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