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These page shows links to official Unitarian sites. If you’re interested in seeing other sites that we think are worth a look, see Cool Links.

Unitarians in CanadaNearby UnitariansOther Canadian UnitariansUnitarians in the U.S.International Organizations

Unitarians in Canada
Canadian Unitarian Council www.CUC.ca
Unitarian Congregations of Greater Toronto (UCGT) www.ucgt.ca
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ) www.CUSJ.org
Canadian Unitarian Universalist Historical Society www.CUC.ca/links/CUUHS.htm
St. Lawrence District www.SLD.UUA.org
USC Canada (Founded in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada) www.USC-Canada.org
Nearby Unitarians www.CUC.ca/Congregations
Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Dundas East & Coxwell) www.NUUC.ca
Don Heights Unitarian Congregation (Don Mills & Eglinton) www.DonHeights.ca
Unitarian Fellowship of Northwest Toronto (Lawrence & Weston Rd) www.UFNWT.com
Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga (QEW & Cawthra) www.UUCM.ca
Huronia Unitarian Fellowship (Barrie) www.HUUF.ca
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Durham (Oshawa) www.UUCD.ca
Elora & Fergus Unitarian Church www.EFUUC.org
Unitarian Congregation of Guelph www.Guelph-Unitarians.com
First Unitarian Church of Hamilton uuhamilton.ca
Unitarian Congregation of Niagara (St. Catharines) www.Unitarian-StCatharines.org
Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough www.PeterboroughUnitarian.ca
First Unitarian Congregation of Waterloo www.Waterloo.Unitarians.ca
Unicamp of Ontario (near Shelburne) www.UnicampOfOntario.ca
Other Large Canadian Unitarian Congregations
Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax www.UUCH.ca
Unitarian Church of Montreal www.UCMTL.ca
Mouvement Unitarien Universaliste au Québec www.UUQC.ca
First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa www.FirstUnitarianOttawa.ca
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg www.UUWinnipeg.mb.ca
Unitarian Church of Calgary www.UnitariansCalgary.org
Unitarian Church of Edmonton www.UCE.ca
Unitarian Church of Vancouver www.VancouverUnitarians.ca
First Unitarian Church of Victoria www.VictoriaUnitarian.ca
Others www.CUC.ca/Congregations
Unitarians in the U.S.
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) (Based in Boston) www.UUA.org
UU World - The magazine for Unitarian Universalists. www.UUWorld.org
Skinner House Books - a publisher of books to aid individuals and congregations in their search for truth and meaning www.UUA.org/publications/skinnerhouse
Beacon Press - an independent publisher of books that promote freedom of speech and thought, religious pluralism and respect for diversity in all areas of life www.Beacon.org
International Organizations
Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) www.UU-UNO.org
International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) www.ICUU.net
British General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches www.Unitarian.org.uk
Australian & New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association (ANZUUA) www.ANZUUA.org
International Association for Religious Freedom www.IARF.net
Unitarians in Hungary (Magyarországi Unitárius Egyház) www.Unitarius.hu

The following list shows a sample of notable Unitarians, Universalists and Unitarian Universalists. Click on the person’s name to find out more.

Note that for privacy reasons, we have listed people who are alive only if they have publically spoken about their faith.

Louisa May Alcott 1832-1888 Abolitionist, author of Little Women
Susan B. Anthony 1820-1906 Activist, publisher
Hossea Ballou 1771-1852 Universalist minister
P. T. Barnum 1810-1891 Showman
Bartók Béla (aka Béla Bartók) 1881-1945 Hungarian composer
Clara Barton 1821-1912 Organizer of the American Red Cross
Sir Tim Berners-Lee b. 1955 Physicist, inventor of the World Wide Web
Peter Brock 1920-2006 Historian, pacifist scholar, member of this congregation
Robert Burns 1759-1796 National Poet of Scotland
Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) b. 1982 Musician
James Coyne 1910-2012 Governor of the Bank of Canada (1955-1961), member of this congregation in the 1960’s
E. E. Cummings 1894-1962 poet, painter
William Dennison 1905-1981 Mayor of Toronto (1966-1972), member of this congregation
Charles Dickens 1812-1870 Novelist, author of A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882 Unitarian minister, essayist, poet
Lloyd Francis 1920-2007 MP for Ottawa area ridings (1962-1984), parliamentary speaker (1980-1984)
Robert Fulghum b. 1937 Unitarian Minister, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Buckminster Fuller 1895-1983 Engineer, designer, inventor, futurist
Gary Gygax 1938-2008 Creator of Dungeons and Dragons
Edvard Grieg 1843-1907 Norwegian composer
Edmond Halley 1656-1742 Astronomer, discoverer of Halley’s comet
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804-1864 Author of The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables
Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova 1909-1990 Canadian humanitarian, founder of USC Canada
Bruce Hyer b. 1946 MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North (2008-2015)
Margaret Laurence 1926-1987 Canadian author of The Stone Angel and The Diviners
Arthur Lismer 1885-1969 Canadian painter, member of the Group of Seven, member of this congregation
Dorothy Livesay 1909-1996 Canadian poet
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882 Poet, educator
Herman Melville 1819-1891 Author of Moby Dick
John Molson 1763-1836 Canadian brewer, Member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada
Robert Munsch b. 1945 Canadian author of Love You Forever and The Paper Bag Princess
Paul Newman 1925-2008 Actor
Sir Isaac Newton 1642-1726 Physicist and mathematician
Florence Nightingale 1820-1910 Nurse, humanitarian, statistician, Inventor of the Pie Chart
Linus Pauling 1901-1994 Chemist, peace activist, double Nobel Laureate
Randy Pausch 1960-2008 Computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, author of The Last Lecture
Sylvia Plath 1932-1963 Poet, author of The Bell Jar
Beatrix Potter 1866-1943 Conservationist, author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Joseph Priestley 1733-1804 Scientist, natural philosopher, political theorist
Christopher Reeve 1952-2004 Actor
May Sarton 1912-1995 Poet, author of Coming Into Eighty and Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
Alyson Schafer   Canadian parenting expert, TV host, Author of Ain’t Misbehavin, Honey, I Wrecked The Kids, and Breaking the Good Mom Myth
Pete Seeger 1919-2014 Musician, social activist
Rod Serling 1924-1975 Screenwriter, TV producer
Michael Servetus 1511-1553 Theologian, Unitarian martyr
Vilhjalmur Stefansson 1979-1962 Arctic explorer, champion of Native American rights
Emily Stowe 1813-1903 Toronto physician, suffragette, first woman doctor in Canada
Margaret Sutton (aka Rachel Beebe) 1903-2001 Author of children’s books, including the Judy Bolton series
Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 Author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist
Luigi Von Kunits 1870-1931 Founder and conductor of the Toronto Symphony, violinist, member of this congregation
Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007 Author of Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions
Zach Wahls b. 1991 Activist, author of My Two Moms
Josiah Wedgwood 1730-1795 British potter
Dawud Wharnsby b. 1972 Canadian musician
Walt Whitman 1819-1892 Poet, humanist
Dr. Joseph Workman 1805-1894 Toronto psychiatrist, educator, mental health advocate, co-founder of this congregation
Frank Lloyd Wright 1867-1959 Architect
N.C. Wyeth 1882-1945 Illustrator
John II Sigismund Zápolya 1540-1570 King of Hungary

For more notable UUs, please see these other lists:

If you have any suggestions for additions or other changes, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Unitarian Universalism (UUism) is a liberal religion that promotes freedom of belief and respect for all people. We provide a warm, open, inclusive supportive community for people who believe “how we live is more important than what we believe.”

Unitarian Universalism is approximately 400 years old and there are more than one thousand UU congregations in the United States, Canada, and around the world.

We do not need to profess a “creed” in order to be a UU. We believe that an individual's theology is a result of their own search for truth and meaning, not obedience to an outside authority. Instead, we are united by shared values including tolerance, compassion and on-going commitment to making the world a more humane and peaceful place. Read about our Principles and Sources.

Unitarian Universalism welcomes people with different beliefs and there is rich dialogue in our congregations about spiritual issues. We welcome and embrace all who share our values and principles regardless of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, race, age or gender.

Unitarian Universalism attracts people who are uncomfortable with the “dogmas” of the most organized religions. As a result, most of us arrived at Unitarianism from either a different faith tradition or from an un-churched background.

Toronto First Unitarian, founded in 1845, is a place where theists (believers in a personal God) and non-theists, Christians, Jews and Buddhists, the rational and the spiritual, can come together in a community of common purpose and mutual respect.

For parents of young children, we provide an alternative to more traditional approaches to religious education.

Toronto First Unitarian also provides a liberal alternative to Metropolitan Community Church as a religious home for gay and lesbian individuals and families.

Our Unison Affirmation

We recite this affirmation in unison as part of our service every Sunday:

Love is our doctrine,
The quest for truth is our sacrament,
And service is our prayer.
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve life,
To the end that all souls shall grow
into harmony with the divine —
Thus do we covenant with each other
and with all.

Adapted from L Griswold Williams

About Our Congregation

Toronto First Unitarian, like all UU congregations, is autonomous, self-funding and governed by a Board of Trustees elected annually by our members. However, we gain great strength and numerous services by being a member of a larger movement. We are one of more than 45 congregations in the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC). Learn more about our administration and governance.

About Unitarian-Universalism

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two different religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. Both began in Europe hundreds of years ago. After consolidating in 1961 in the U.S., these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). In Canada, Unitarian and Universalist congregations have been active since the mid-1800's. The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) includes congregations that call themselves Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist (UU). In practice, we use the word “Unitarian” as a shortcut for “Unitarian Universalist”.

Both religions have long histories and have contributed important theological concepts that remain central to Unitarian Universalism. Originally, all Unitarians were Christians who didn't believe in the Holy Trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but in the unity, or single aspect, of God. Later, Unitarian beliefs stressed the importance of rational thinking, a direct relationship with God, and the humanity (not divinity) of Jesus. Universalism emerged as a Christian denomination with a central belief in universal salvation; that is, that all people will eventually be reconciled with God.

Learn more about the history of our denomination from the UUA, and learn more about other Unitarian congregations and notable Unitarians.

Music is important to enhance worship in our Sunday services and the choir is an important means of deepening the worship experience. We come together to share our joy of singing and strive for harmony in our music and our choir.

The choir has grown to the point where we have had to cap its membership due to limited physical space in Sunderland Hall. Vacancies are filled as they become available. It is a non-auditioned group and you don’t need to be a member of the congregation to join.

There are no fees. There is, however, an expectation of commitment, that singers will be available for Thursday rehearsals and for Sunday services.

If you are interested in joining the choir, please download, print and complete the Application for Choir Membership Form and bring it to our Sunday Service. Our Engage and Connect team, located at the top of the stairs outside Workman Hall, will be happy to receive it. Once we have your application, a choir representative will contact you to let you know whether there is a vacancy or, if that is not the case, to ask whether you would like to be placed on our waiting list.

There are many Unitarian Universalist jokes, stories we tell each other as a way of laughing at ourselves. All of these statements contain at least a grain of truth about who we are, but, as we say, if you take three Unitarians, you'll find five opinions, so some of the jokes below are not relevant (or funny) to all of us. We are proud to call ourselves “a community of misfits.”

Do you have another favourite UU joke? Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If a few of us think it's relevant and funny, we'll add it here.

You can also check out the Unitarian Universalist Hysterical Society on Facebook.


Q. What is a Unitarian Universalist?
A. Someone who believes in life before death.
A. Someone who faces all questions with an open mouth.


Q: How many Unitarians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: We choose not to make a statement either in favour of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is wonderful. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb. Present it next month at our annual Light Bulb Sunday Service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.


A UU is told “I hear you deny the divinity of Christ.” “That’s not true!” said the UU, “We don’t deny the divinity of anyone.”


Q: Why can’t UUs sing very well in choirs?
A: Because they’re always reading ahead to see if they agree with the next verse.


UU’s are basically good people, who, for the most part, try to live by the 10 suggestions.


“I know my humor is outrageous when it makes the Unitarians so mad they burn a question mark on my front lawn.” - Lenny Bruce


The children in a UU church school class were drawing pictures. The teacher asked one, “What are you drawing a picture of?”

“I’m drawing a picture of God,” was the reply.

“But nobody knows what God looks like,” objected the teacher.

“They will,” said the child, “in a minute.”


“A Unitarian very earnestly disbelieves in almost everything that anybody else believes, and he has a very lively sustaining faith in he doesn’t quite know what.” - Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage


Unitarian Universalist prayers:
• “Dear God, if there is a God, please save my soul, if I have a soul.”
• “To whom it may concern...”


A Unitarian Universalist died, and to his surprise discovered that there was indeed an afterlife. The angel in charge of these things told him, “Because you were an unbeliever and a doubter and a skeptic, you will be sent to Hell for all eternity—which, in your case, consists of a place where no one will disagree with you ever again!”


Q: Why did the UU cross the road?
A: To support the chicken in its search for its own path.


Thomas Starr King is credited with describing the difference between Universalists and Unitarians: “Universalists believe that God is too good to damn men; Unitarians believe that man is too good to be damned.”


UU bumper stickers:
• “Honk If You’re Not Sure”
• “The Answer Is To Question”


A group of children at a Unitarian Universalist church school were trying to determine the sex of a rabbit. “There’s only one way to decide,” said one child, “let’s take a vote on it.”


Visitors on a tour of Heaven noticed a group of Unitarian Universalists, who were arguing about whether or not they were really there.


Some Unitarian Universalists think that life after death is one big annual congregational meeting, but they are not sure whether the meeting is in Heaven or Hell.


A traveler couldn’t find the local Unitarian Universalist church. After looking in the centre of town, in the suburbs, and out in the surrounding countryside. the traveler asked a farmer “Am I too far out for the UU church?” The farmer’s reply: “Nobody is too far out for them.”


(From an episode of The Simpsons, set at the church ice cream social)
Lisa: “What flavours do you have?”
Rev. Lovejoy: “Well, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and our new Unitarian flavour ice cream.”
Lisa: “I’ll have that” (Rev hands her an empty bowl)
Lisa: “But there’s nothing in there.”
Rev: “Eeeexactly.”


Famous Universalist minister Hosea Ballou argued with a Methodist colleague over the issue of eternal damnation.

The Methodist asserted, “if I were a Universalist and feared not the fires of hell, I could hit you over the head, steal your horse and saddle and ride away, and I’d still go to heaven!”

Ballou answered, “If you were a Universalist, the idea would never occur to you!”


A visitor to a Unitarian Universalist church sat through the sermon with growing incredulity at the heretical ideas being spouted. After the sermon a UU asked the visitor, “So how did you like it?”

“I can’t believe half the things that minister said!” sputtered the visitor in outrage.

“Oh, good—then you’ll fit right in!”


Q: What do you get when you cross a UU with a Jehovah’s Witness?
A: Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason.
A. Someone who knocks on your door to learn about your religion.
A. Someone who knocks on your door to offer you coffee.


Q: How does a UU walk on water?
A: She waits until winter.


Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary, defined a Unitarian as “one who denies the divinity of a Trinitarian” and a Universalist as “one who foregoes the advantages of Hell for persons of another faith.”


“The General answers his own phone. Must be a Unitarian.” - Col. Sherman Potter, M.A.S.H. 4077


A Unitarian Universalist dies, and on the way to the after-life encounters a fork in the road. The left path has a sign “To Heaven” and the right has a sign “To a Discussion about Heaven” Without pausing, the UU turns right.


The UU holy book is Roberts’ Rules of Order.


Dana Worsnop’s Elevator Story
(Dana was an intern minister at Toronto First in the nineties.)

At a great international interfaith gathering at a major convention hotel, five delegates found themselves waiting and waiting for the elevator following one of the sessions. To break the monotony and silence, one of delegates suggested they play a little game: “Let’s see if we can explain our faith in the time it takes the elevator to go from here to the first floor!” Although they would have to travel up and down several times, the delegates agreed.

On the trip down from the tenth to the first floor, the Roman Catholic delegate volunteered to go first. He recited the Apostles’ Creed, and finished just as the doors opened on the lobby.

Next, the Universalist delegate pushed the button for the tenth floor and proceeded to say, “We Universalists believe in the essential goodness of humanity and of God. We believe that God loves all creatures, and intends our well-being and happiness, in this world and the next. We believe in a God who rewards, and does not punish.” The Universalist was finished well before the elevator reached the tenth floor.

Next, it was the Hindu delegate’s turn. Pressing the button for the lobby, she began, “We Hindus believe in the great wheel of life. All is a cycle, and what has been will be again. It is for us to understand our place in this turning, to do what falls to us to do, and to celebrate our place in the scheme of existence.” Like the Universalist, she was finished long before the elevator reached its destination.

Now it fell to the Zen Buddhist delegate to push the button for the tenth floor. All waited eagerly for him to begin, but there was only silence as the car traveled the ten floors. When the doors opened, they asked the Zen Buddhist: “Why did you not say anything to us about your belief?” He replied: “In saying nothing, I said all that there is to say.”

The interfaith conference delegates scratched their heads, then looked to the Unitarian delegate, the last to take a turn. The elevator doors closed, and she reached out to push the button. All were surprised when she pushed “2.”

Why did you not push the button for the lobby?” they asked.

“Because,” the Unitarian delegate replied, “there’s a great little coffee shop on the second floor where we can kick back and really discuss this!”


An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the “accident of evolution” had created. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path.

He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster.

He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the atheist cried out: “Oh my God!...”

Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.“You deny my existence for all of these years, teach others I don’t exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?”

The atheist looked directly into the light, “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps could You make the BEAR a Christian?”

“Very well,” said the voice. The light went out. And the sounds of the forest resumed.

And then the bear dropped his right paw... brought both paws together and bowed his head and spoke:

“Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful.”


And finally... Two songs by Christopher Gist Raible, a former minister at Toronto First:

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
Sung to the tune of “Holy, Holy, Holy”

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee,
Praise the strength of coffee.
Early in the morn we rise with thoughts of only thee.
Served fresh or reheated,
Dark by thee defeated,
Brewed black by perk or drip or instantly.

Though all else we scoff we
Come to church for coffee;
If we’re late to congregate, we come in time for thee.
Coffee our one ritual,
Drinking it habitual,
Brewed black by perk or drip instantly.

Coffee the communion
Of our Uni-Union,
Symbol of our sacred ground, our one necessity.
Feel the holy power
At our coffee hour,
Brewed black by perk or drip or instantly.

I am the Very Model of a Modern Unitarian
Sung to the tune of “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” from “Pirates of Penzance”.

I am the very model of a modern Unitarian,
Far broader than a Catholic, Hindu, Jew or Presbyterian.
I know the world’s religions and can trace their roots historical
From Moses up to Channing, all in order categorical.
I’m very well acquainted, too, with theories theological,
On existential questions I am always wholly logical,
About most any problem I am teeming with a lot of views,
I’m full of fine ideas that should fill our church’s empty pews.

(Chorus members:
We’re full of fine ideas that should fill our church’s empty pews.
We’re full of fine ideas that should fill our church’s empty pews.
We’re full of fine ideas that should fill our church’s empty empty pews.)

I quote from Freud and Jung and all the experts psychological.
I’m anti nuke, I don’t pollute I’m chastely ecological.
In short, in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
I am the very model of a modern Unitarian.

(Chorus members:
In short, in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
We are the very model of a modern Unitarian.)

I use the latest language; God is never Father or the Lord,
But Ground of Being, Source of Life or almost any other word.
I never pray, I meditate, I’m leary about worshipping.
I serve on 10 committees none of which accomplish anything.
I give to worthy causes and I drive a gas conserving car,
I have good UU principles (although I’m not sure what they are).
I’m open to opinions of profound or broad variety,
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous piety.

(Chorus members:
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous piety.
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous piety.
Unless they’re too conservative or smack of righteous pie-piety.)

I formulate agendas and discuss them with the best of ’em,
But don’t ask me to implement, we leave that to the rest of ’em.
In short in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
I am the very model of today’s religious liberal.

(Chorus members:
In short, in matters spiritual, ethical, material,
We are the very model of today’s religious liberal.)