An Anglican presence in Richmond Hill dates back to the middle of the 19th century when a church was built just east of Yonge Street. When it was destroyed by fire, John Robert Arnold, the son of a United Empire Loyalist, gave a corner of his property for a new church, requesting that he and his descendants be buried in a family plot near to it. The yellow brick church was opened October 8th, 1872. Now called the chapel, old Saint Mary’s stands stately on the hill.
As Richmond Hill grew, Saint Mary’s expanded. Additional lands were obtained by gift, bequest and purchase. A crypt was excavated during the winter of 1928-29. An addition was added to the Vestry in 1945. Then in 1956, the parish hall was built and named “Wrixon Hall” as a memorial to the long and faithful ministry of the Rev. W. F. Wrixon.
Growth continued, and under the direction of the Rev. James F. O’Neil a new church was started on October 26th, 1964. With great thanksgiving this building was consecrated on April 10th, 1968. When we look at Saint Mary’s Church, we see part of our heritage and are reminded of the men and women of past years; we think of their labours, their caring, the education they provided, their mission in life, and the worship they shared together.