Bay Street United Church

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Bay Street United Church

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Bay Street United Church existed as part of the New Canadian Institute / Church of All Nations in the Ontario community of Port Arthur, now known as Thunder Bay. The New Canadian Institute was established to help Finnish and Scandinavian immigrants. An extension to the Institute, located on the corner of Bay Street and Winnipeg Avenue, was dedicated November 13, 1927 and it was around this time that regular services for the immigrants began. Rev. A.B. Simpson, Superintendent of New Canadian Work, brought forward a motion at Presbytery to build a chapel at the New Canadian Institute "solely for the purpose of worship." The Institute officially changed its name to the Church of All Nations on April 3, 1929 with an interim session consisting of representatives from St. Paul's, Trinity and Knox United Churches. The first reference to the Church of All Nations as "Bay Street United Church" appeared in the Superior Presbytery Minutes of September 11, 1934, and afterwards the two names seem to be interchangeable. The church work began to falter after the departure of Rev. Simpson in 1935. By 1940, a minister from Wayside was serving the congregation. A motion for St. Paul's and Trinity United Churches to take over the work at Bay Street and the property sold first appears in the Presbytery minutes of February 11, 1943. That motion was deferred and instead a grant of $389 was provided for repairs and a new charge of Current River/Bay Street/Fourth Avenue was formed on April 1, 1945. Unfortunately this arrangement did not last long. When the motion to discontinue the work at Bay Street and sell the property was once again put forward on September 24, 1946, it was passed. Bay Street United Church closed its doors on December 31 of that year. The property was sold in 1947.

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