History of our Parish

The original Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish began when a 16-room mansion, originally built by the late Senator E.D Smith, was purchased and established as Ontario's First Friary of the Franciscan Order. Our first priest was U.S. born Rev. Godfrey Wolf, who was sent to us from England. During negotiations for the purchase of the land and building, masses were  held in the small home of a German couple. 

There was no money for construction of a church so two former Army Trade School buildings moved to Winona from Hamilton and were joined back-to-back in June 1953 with accommodations for 200 people. In 1953, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church was formed and dedicated by Bishop Ryan. 
 

Initially, there were only 45 families within the Parish. During the time of the Church's construction came a temporary Convent, which then served as the rectory. A two class school was constructed, and was attended by 55 students, taught by two Felician Sisters that took over occupancy on December 7th, 1953.