The wooden frame church was built between 1822 and 1824 and dedicated to St John the Evangelist in 1828.  The first rector, the Reverand Jonathan Shortt served the church with great energy from 1836 until his death in 1867.

The church  grew quickly, requiring two major expansions. The first, in 1842, extended the church to the east and added galleries to three sides of the nave. In 1852 a second expansion included transepts to the north and south sides and installation of a Willis pipe organ, imported from England.  But by 1855, it was again too small and required too much maintenance.  Growth in Port Hope was occurring on the west side of the Ganaraska River, with the church building on the opposite side of the town.  In 1865, a new location was purchased on Pine Street and a new Anglican Church of John the Evangelist opened in 1869. The frame building was used as a Parish Hall until 1871, then abandoned in disrepair.

In 1872, a group of parishioners petitioned the Diocese of Toronto to reopen the church as a new parish.  After a quick restoration, the church was dedicated to St Mark’s in 1873.  In 1925, the church was damaged in a devastating fire.  St Mark’s rectory at 50 King Street was gifted to the church in 1949 but later sold and the current rectory at 51 King St purchased in 1956. The first Parish Hall opened in 1957. St Mark’s has survived a major fire, economic hardship and threatened closure thanks to parishioners such as the Right Honourable Vincent Massey who supported the church from the 1920s until his death and burial in St Mark’s cemetery in 1967.

To this day the church remains active in many areas–liturgical, architectural and in local outreach activities. For more of the church’s interesting history click here.

In 1959, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H Prince Philip were guests at the home of then Governor-General Vincent Massey, a long-time parishioner of St Mark’s. During their stay at his estate in Canton, they joined the congregation for Morning Prayer at St Mark’s on July 26. Mementos  of that visit include a signed portrait of the royal couple and the Queen’s signature in the guest book, which is still on display in the church.  The choirs are authorized to wear cassocks of the Royal Livery colour–scarlet by Royal permission as a consequence of the visit.

More On Our History in Wiki


Photo Credit – Anne Oram

On Sunday, August 4th, 2013, we joyously held our first event in our new Parish Hall.  This day had been a long time coming; construction always seemed to take longer than originally thought, and this had been compounded by the discovery of previously buried remains during excavation.

The Parish Hall boasts an upstairs Mezzanine popular for Yoga, two large meeting rooms with refreshment facilities, a library and an elevator for full accessibility to the second floor. The main floor has a modern industrial kitchen and large meeting hall with stage and grand piano.

How The Parish Hall Was Funded

A major lead gift from the late Ben Lloyd and his wife Jane Pinchin was matched by generous funding from the Diocese of Toronto’s Ministry Allocation Fund and a Baker Foundation grant for the Sunday School.  An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant was received to help create barrier-free access.  These together with donations and pledges  from the congregation in a highly successful Capital Campaign created the modern building present today.

Renting The Hall

We welcome the community to our Parish Hall.

To book the Parish Hall, please contact the Church Office between
9 a.m. and noon, Tuesday through Friday by Email or directly  905-885-4071.

You can also make inquiries from our Wardens by email!

Regularly Scheduled Community Users