First Unitarian congregation established in Montreal in 1842; first Universalist congregation at the same time in Halifax. Canadian Unitarian Council established in 1961.
46 from coast to coast, ranging from 375 members to small fellowships
The first Unitarian congregations in Canada were formed by Non-Subscribing Presbyterians from Ireland who had immigrated to Montreal and, later, Toronto. The first Universalist congregation was established with the assistance of Universalist ministers from the United States. Until 1961, there were only informal ties between congregations across Canada, and congregations maintained relationships with the British General Assembly and particularly with the American Unitarian and Universalist bodies. The Canadian Unitarian Council, formed in 1961, became increasingly important in building ties across the country. Until 2001, Canadian congregations belonged to both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Canadian Unitarian Council, and received services from both organizations. In 2001, the members of the CUC agreed that they would disaffiliate from the UUA and the CUC would become the primary provider of services to Canadian congregations. 50 years ago most Canadian congregations were Christocentric in belief and practice, but in the second part of the twentieth century the majority were strongly influenced by Humanism. Now, like Unitarians elsewhere, they have moved toward a deeper spirituality, drawing on the insights of ecology, feminism and world religion.
Vyda Ng Executive Director, CUC 400-215 Spadina Avenue Toronto, Ontario M5T 2C7 Canada