“Dozens” of graves at SJTE

The CBC says that “dozens” of graves have been discovered at the building site of St John The Evangelist Catholic School. The graves are from the late 19th century.

Archaeologists so far found 57 gravestones and “dozens of bodies”.

A few graves had been found earlier, and the school had said that they did not expect construction to be delayed—though the Archdiocese recommended further study.

Martin Proctor says that many graves were moved in the first half of the twentieth century, although probably not in a systematic way.

Graves discovered during St John demolition

The graves of four people were discovered while demolishing St John The Evangelist, according to InsideToronto.

Martin Proctor, a local folklorist and community hero, has a long discussion on a Weston Facebook page. He says the graves

 would have been from the old St. John the Evangelist Church cemetery…. burials were still taking place at least as late as the early 1890s….


The old St John the Evangelist church

Thanks to Anon for the tip.

Demolition preparation at STJE

The TCDSB removed the sign and other assets from the St John the Evangelist building in preparation for demolition, according to Dave Bennett, chair of the School Advisory Council.

Photo from Dave Bennett

The school is expected to be demolished later this summer, and, though the new site plans have been delayed several times, the students are expected to return in September, 2016.

St John news

InsideToronto has an article on the construction at St John the Evangelist:

Students looking forward to returning to the new St. John the Evangelist Catholic School on George Street will have to wait until September 2016.

“The only hurdle is the storm management system,” said Dave Bennett, chair of the school’s parent council, explaining discussion is now taking place between the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Metrolinx as to who would be responsible to undertake, manage and pay for the system.

St John the Evangelist celebrates 160 years

St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church celebrated its 160th anniversary last week. Laura Albanese celebrated it in the Legislature:


A hundred and sixty years ago the Catholic community in Weston came together to establish a church so they could worship together. The community of St. John the Evangelist has grown through many difficult and exciting decades, always being an important part of the community of York South–Weston.

The church is, Mr. Speaker, the little parish with heart in the big city, and I wish to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to the church, pastor Father Michael McGourty, laypersons and staff, and to all its parishioners for 160 years of playing a vital, vibrant, central role in the community. This community will soon also be looking forward to having a new school built next to it, a brand new elementary school that bears the name of St. John the Evangelist Catholic School.


Huzzah! St John gets money for new school

St John the Evangelist now has the money for a replacement school! The super-duper fantastic announcement was made by Laura Albanese today. The province will be giving an additional $5 million, bringing the total to $11.5 million.

St John has been looking for a new school for several years. The present school is outrageously overcrowded, and the entire school has had to relocate near downtown to get away from the construction on the train lines. Staff and volunteers had been lobbying for quick approval of a new school so that it could be built while the train construction is ongoing; in the past, enough money had been announced for only an addition.

Dave Bennett, a vocal proponent of a new school and Chair of the School Advisory Council, said,

What a great day for families in Weston!

St. John the Evangelist Elementary School has received $5M of additional funding to replace our overcrowded school. This funding will allow our children to return to real classrooms (not portables), and to possible grass in the playground.

Dave Bennett, Lorretta Notten, Father Michael, Angelo Sangiorgio, Laura Albanese, Frances Nunziata, Frank D’Amico, Sal Piccininni, Stephen Lipskus, Michael Femia. Photo from Andrew Sullivan.