St. Margaret Mary Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic churches in Vaughan started back in 1846 with St. Luke the Evangelist in Thornhill. The many Irish families in Pine Grove travelled there to worship until 1949 when the Pine Grove Memorial Hall played host to the first Catholic Mass in Pine Grove, celebrated by Father J. Timmins, CSB of St. Luke’s parish from Thornhill. Father Arthur McMahon then continued to celebrate mass there until moving into the former Woodbridge Primitive Methodist Church on Woodbridge Avenue. This church was named St. Margaret, Virgin and Martry, then later changed to St. Margaret Mary. In 1957, Vaughan Township was split up into two parishes, as the new Parish of St. Margaret Mary was established. As the areas surrounding Pine Grove and Woodbridge became increasingly populated, a bigger church was needed. The current location’s property was purchased and construction of a new church and St. Margaret Mary Catholic School, the first separate school in Vaughan. In 1961, the construction of the church was complete and masses were celebrated at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church at 8500 Islington Avenue in Woodbridge, Ontario.
Immaculate Conception Parish
This parish and its pastors belong to The Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception. With the mass migration of Italians into the Woodbridge community in the 1980s, there grew increasing demand for another parish to support St. Peter’s and St. Margaret Mary in serving the religious needs of the many Roman Catholics in the growing community. Immaculate Conception Parish was built and dedicated on September 17, 1986 at 300 Ansley Grove Road in Woodbridge, Ontario. It is located between the Chancellor Community Centre and Father Bressani Secondary School. Since the founding pastor, Father Ugo Sturabotti on through to Father Eugene Chianain, the parish has been served by many dedicated priests. Over 3500 families are registered as members of the parish, which hosts over sixty weddings, ninety funerals, over 100 baptisms, 200 first communions and 200 confirmations each year. Since its original establishment as a pillar of the Italian community in Woodbridge, Immaculate has also since become home to many new immigrants from other areas of the globe, including Sri Lanka, Phillipines and India.
St. Clare of Assisi Parish
St. Clare of Assisi belongs to the Archdiocese of Toronto and is located at 150 St. Francis Avenue in Woodbridge, Ontario. The parish itself was first established in 1995 when new parish boundaries were drawn up in Woodbridge to manage the exuberant growth of Immaculate Conception Parish’s size. The members of the newly created St. Clare of Assisi Parish had no church of their own in which to come together and celebrate mass. Masses were initially held in a local school and celebrated by founding pastor Father John Borean. Members of the parish rallied together, raised the needed funds to purchase land and build themselves a new church. St. Clare of Assisi Parish’s current church location was constructed using much donated funds and donated labour from the community, and was dedicated in 2003. The continuing efforts of Father John as a faith leader in the Catholic community have now earned him the title of Monsignor John Borean.
St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church
This parish belongs to the Archdiocese of Toronto under the spiritual guidance of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception Province. It is located at 100 Bainbridge Avenue in Woodbridge, Ontario.