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There’s a stone archway on the east side of Yonge, north of Gerrard

There’s a stone archway on the east side of Yonge, north of Gerrard. Where did it come from?—Jeff Smith, Cabbagetown

That arch represents the remains of the original St. Andrew’s, a once-majestic United Church that sat on the south side of Bloor, just east of Yonge. In the mid-1970s, the congregants of St. Andrew’s realized they were sitting on some in_creasingly valuable real estate and that their church was becoming costly to maintain; even worse, it rumbled and shook every time the subway went by. After a long and bitter debate, they voted to commission a new home, just behind the original, and in 1981, the congregation moved. As the old building came down, the city approached St. Andrew’s and asked whether the archway could be saved. The church agreed, and city workers bore it off, reassembling it where it stands today as a pedestrian gateway to McGill Street. A bronze plaque was suggested to explain the arch’s origins, but never installed, out of fear it would be prised off by local miscreants. Another plan to engrave an inscription into the stone never came to pass. As a result, it isn’t a mystery just to you, but also to local businesses and elected officials alike.

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