Our History


The original aboriginal population, whose tracks through the forested land still shape our city, were joined by loyalists who settled here after the American War of Independence. Soon British troops showed up to fend off the expansionist designs of the Great Republic to the South. Thereafter, these troops were given land-grants by the government. Soon joined by early nineteenth century British immigrants, some of whom were Scottish and Irish Presbyterians, Knox Church was officially formed in 1841. Knox grew from those British roots. A new sanctuary that we still occupy was opened in 1860, while later in the Nineteenth Century, as a sign that St. Catharines was becoming a city of note, a Casavant pipe organ was built in the sanctuary, and a choir formed. In the course of the twentieth century, the sanctuary’s plain windows were replaced by beautiful stained glass.

In 1925, Knox faced an issue faced by all of Canada’s Presbyterians: whether or not to join with Canada’s Methodists and Congregationalists in a new United Church. 73% of those who voted at Knox voted to stay Presbyterian! Knox continued to flourish, adding a Christian Education Wing in 1957 to accommodate the post war ‘baby-boom’. But as with many Canadian congregations, the ‘boom’ eventually receded, and by the 1970’s,  congregational numbers began to decline, precipitously in the first decade of the twenty -first century. We’re glad indeed that numbers are growing again, and that the congregation is being renewed. No longer as British as it once was, Knox welcomes folk from the Netherlands, Germany, Korea, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the USA.