Extent of Material:
1 cm of textual material
74 photographs
2 moving image items
Administrative History:

The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine was founded in 1884 by a Canadian woman, Hannah Grier Coome. She took her training at an American community, the Sisters of St. Mary in Peekskill, New York, for two years. In 1884 she made her vows and returned to Toronto, where several young women were waiting to join her in establishing the new community.  In 1885, the sisters moved into a house on Robinson Street. Shortly after, they acquired the house next door, on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Robinson Street, where they opened the first surgical hospital for women in Toronto.  The Sisters of St. John the Divine followed what is known as the mixed Religious Life, of prayer and works of mercy, such as teaching, nursing and caring for the needy.

At its height, the SSJD ran convents in Toronto and Bracebridge; mission houses in Montreal, Toronto, Regina, and Edmonton; schools in Ottawa and Regina; an old age home in Toronto, and hospitals in Springhill, Nova Scotia and Toronto.

Their modern activities include retreats, missions, workshops, conferences, and white work embroidery at St. John’s Convent in Toronto; St. John’s rehabilitation hospital in Toronto; and diocesan and parish work.

Custodial History:
Custodial history unknown.
Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of booklets of historical sketches of the sisterhood, a booklet on St. John’s Convalescent Hospital, an annual report (1909), children’s choral communion service hymn book (1945), articles on the convent (1953, 1960, 2005), a film entitled ‘A Life to Give’,  photographs, and miscellaneous material.


Title based on contents of fonds.

Printed ; audio visual

Finding Aids:
Finding aid available for the photographs
Associated material:

GSA also holds copies of St. John’s Messenger (1892-1961), The Eagle (1964- ), and Hilltop and Valley. Bracebridge, Ont. (1948-1959); all official publications of the SSJD.

Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod Archives.
Corporate Names:
Sisterhood of Saint John the Divine (Toronto)
Geographic Names:
Bracebridge (Ont.)
Anglican Church of Canada — Religious orders
Bishop Bethune College (Oshawa, Ont.)
St. John’s Convent (Bracebridge, Ont.)
St. John’s Convalescent Hospital (Toronto)
Accession numbers:
M80-16, P7603, P7811, P84103, AV8614 ; AV2006-07

Please contact the Archives for more information on this record.