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The Methodist Church of Canada was a united church formed in 1884 and comprising most former Methodist denominations in Canada including some that had been active along Canada's eastern coast and north of the St. Lawrence Rivermarker as early as the eighteenth century.

It soon responded to overtures for further denominational union from the recently also united and somewhat larger Presbyterian Church in Canada, formed in 1875. These discussions in due course led to the formation in 1925 of the United Church of Canada, which was and remains the largest Protestant denomination in Canada in spite of a more recent sharp decline in affiliation and membership.

The Methodist Church with its notable benefactors the Eaton and Massey families was the sponsor of Victoria College at the University of Torontomarker, once and still a mainstay of intellectual rigour at that university and the alma mater of many of Canada's leaders and most famous thinkers.

Although Methodists were never a majority of anglophone Canadians or even Torontonians, their political and social influence in southern Ontario generally and Toronto particularly earned Toronto its longstanding semi-facetious sobriquet "the Methodist Rome" and Metropolitan Methodist Churchmarker in Toronto that of "the Cathedral of Methodism." Many of the causes espoused by and associated with the United Church in the 20th century were, although also associated with other Evangelical Protestant denominations, especially Methodist ones, in particular sabbatarianism, temperance, the rights of women and missions to the aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Although Methodism in Canada abandoned that label in 1925 — many United Church people in Canada are entirely unaware of the term — the foremost Canadian Methodist, Egerton Ryerson, is amply commemorated and widely known through the many Canadian institutions which bear his name, including Ryerson Universitymarker, the former Ryerson Press (the United Church publishing house, ultimately sold to McGraw-Hill) and numerous Ryerson United Churches across the country.

Notes

  1. Victor Shepherd (2001), "The Methodist Tradition in Canada." Retrieved 26 November 2007.
  2. Shepherd.
  3. Unlike the label "Presbyterian," as to which the United Church contended with the continuing or "non-concurring" Presbyterians for many years after Church Union.



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