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Orillia Churches


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The front windows and tower entrance of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Orillia.
Local churches have formed the backbone to people's spiritual well being in Orillia for over a hundred years. For a city the size of Orillia, there certainly is no lack of places to worship. When I moved here forty years ago, people used to say there were two things Orillia had a lot of - bars and churches. Today, there are less actual "bars", and far more churches than when I arrived here.

Although our church home is the Orillia Christian Church (OCC), I have been in several of the other churches in town, either for worship services, or weddings , baptisms or, celebrations. For a while when our children were very small, we attended Bethel Baptist Church (though we are not Baptists) because they had a good Sunday School program, and used to have a group for youth (Pioneer Girls) that our kids liked. A number of the churches offer meeting or banquet rooms available for rent, and some offer catering for smaller affairs.  Many offer family events through the year, and these are often opened to the general public to attend. One doesn't have to be a member to attend most of the special events (some may be ticketed events, or by donation, or entirely free). Most have programs geared to youth, and Sunday School for small children, as well as nurseries for the little tots.

Looking through the list of available churches or worship places, I'd say that most denominations appear to be well covered.  You may also find the "House Church" in Orillia, though I don't have a list of these. The two I knew of no longer exist. These simply are smaller groups of worshippers who meet in someone's home, rather than a dedicated church building, but to be honest, many of these aren't publicized and if they aren't, it's difficult to find except by word of mouth.


St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
99 Peter STreet North

St. Mark's Presbyterian Church
429 Jamieson Drive

St. James' Anglican Church
58 Peter Street North

St. Athanasius' Anglican Church
10 Westmount Drive North

St. David's Anglican-Lutheran Church
133 James Street East

First Baptist Church
265 Coldwater Road West

Bethel Baptist Church
300 Coldwater Rd. W


Orillia Baptist Church
50 Douglas St.


St. Pauls United Church
62 Peter St. N.

Westmount United Church
23 Westmount Dr. South

Forest Home United Church
165 15th Line North

Regent Park United Church
175 Oxford Street

Salvation Army Orillia Citadel
157 Coldwater Rd West

First Christian Reformed Church 
of Orillia
50 Fittons Road West

Christian Fellowship Chapel
Mennonite Brethren
1296 Cambrian Rd.

Orillia Star of Hope Spiritualist 
Church
56 West Street North (T.I.E. Club)

Orillia Community Church
Non-Denominational
64 Colborne Street East

Connexus Community Church
865 Westridge Boulevard
(in the Galaxy Theatre)

Simcoside Lifepointe Church
113 Simcoe Street

Jubilee Celebration Centre
Evangelical Non-Denominational
201 Woodside Drive (Highwayman Inn)

Orillia Alliance Church
81 Fredrick Street

Calvary Pentecostal Church
375 Westmount Dr. No.

Hillside Bible Chapel
New Testament Assembly
195 Atlantis Dr.

Orillia Dominion Gospel Hall
Gospel Assembly
38 Andrew Street South

Church On the Hill 
Free Methodist Church
96 Quinn Ave.

Guardian Angels Roman Catholic 
Church
115 West Street North

St. Columbkille's Parish
(Roman Catholic)
4993 Hwy 12 (Uptergrove)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
10 Skyline Drive

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
519 Laclie Street
(705) 326-0644

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Meeting House
231 Westmount Drive South


The interior of the chapel at St. James' Anglican Church.
St. James' Anglican Church in downtown Orillia; on an autumn morning the church itself is all but obscured by the colourful trees, with it's tall spire splitting the morning sky.Most of Orillia's oldest church buildings are quite beautiful on the inside, with old polished or carved woodwork and wonderful stained glass windows. If I had to choose just one for beauty, I think it might be St. James' Anglican Church. The windows are gorgeous, the woodwork is beautiful, and the chapel is warm and welcoming. St. James' also has a lot of different rooms inside - the interior contains much more space than one would guess by looking at the outside of the building. Although I've attended several weddings at St. James', I've also seen a couple of their "meeting rooms" (which might also be Sunday School rooms). There is a very large basement hall used for a multitude of things, and at the backside of the building is a rather hidden little shop maintained by the parishoners. The St. James' Thrift Shop. It is only open on specific days of the week, The shop is tiny, and the stairs down to it from outside are quite narrow, but my daughter and I often run into the shop when they have their special sale days (usually $2 for whatever you can fit into a plastic grocery sack they give you). We've managed to get some great buys on clothing and shoes here. You just have to look through what's on display at the time. Some are older styles, but some are current. Most things are in reasonable to new shape.

Because St. James' is located right in the middle of the downtown core, it's very difficult to miss. It sits directly across the road from the Orillia Post Office on Peter Street. It also backs onto one of the municipal parking lots, and the third side opens onto Westmount Street, across the road from St. Paul's United Church (or St. Paul's Center). They participate in many community events, and offer many musical events that are very worth attending (some are ticketed). They have luncheons and coffee hours as well.

Some of the stained glass windows in St. James' Anglican church, seen from the inside with daylight shining through.

My own home church (OCC) is located in a modern building in downtown Orillia. One can walk through an alleyway from Mississaga Street to reach the rear entrance to the church (just a few feet really), or you can reach the front of the church from Colborne Street. This building used to be the multi-plex theatre in downtown Orillia. The building is accessible, and has meeting rooms, and chapel/theatre, and numerous other offerings. Compared to the older churches in town, the Orillia Community Church is a newer offering. Oh, not brand new, but newer.

It's history began back in 1999 (I think) with a small group of people meeting in a home. It didn't take long before they needed a little larger area, and moved out to the Rugby Hall. Rugby Hall is a small, very old "hall" - somewhat like a tiny community center. That's about the time we began attending the church. In a fairly short time,  we outgrew the Rugby Hall and rented some of the meeting facilities at the Highwayman Inn - several rooms were needed to house the chapel area, and Sunday school and nursery. We were pretty comfortable at the Highwayman Inn, but when a fire broke out at the Highwayman (we were, thankfully, not in attendance at that time) it pretty much destroyed the entire downstairs area which we had been renting. We had to find a new place for church.

It was around this time that the Orillia Christian School had finished the construction on a new gymnasium which (unlike many school gymnasiums) had an entrance directly from the outside. Although the parking areas weren't finished (therefore, very muddy area when it rained), the inside of the gym was large enough to hold us, AND it had a stage. We didn't use that for regular services, but did for special events (like the Christmas and Easter pageants, or musical festivities). We were there for quite a number of years, but during that time were debating on whether or not to build our own facilities.

Over the next few years we did buy a piece of wooded property on Carlyon Line - quite large, but would certainly need to be cleared if any building were to occur out there. As it turned out though, the consensus was that the property was too far out of town (it wasn't if you had a car, but ...) to allow "walk-ins" it just wouldn't work. In order to be accessible to people who might live in or near downtown who didn't have transportation, the church would rather be "in the thick of things" near the downtown.  Right around the same time as we were considering the "what to do" of it all, OCC was also gifted with a church building, and residence.

This was the little old church building out at Mitchell Square. It was a lovely little building, but the distance was quite far for everyone - which probably wouldn't deter most of us, but the building was also too small for regular services. And the Pastor at that time, already had a lovely home in town. The house was rented out, and the church was used for special services, for weddings, for baptisms and other events (like church bbqs).

In the end the properties were sold, and OCC eventually bought the cine-plex and began renovations to turn it into "our church". Today, it's still a growing church and is indeed, in the middle of it all in downtown Orillia.