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)|
|Rev. William P. Jenkins||1911-1985||Minister of First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, 1943-1959. Known as the Canadian Unitarian Moses. Spread Unitarianism across Canada. Had a radio program on CHUM in the 1950s called “Let’s Think Together”.|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|John II Sigismund Zápolya||1540-1570||King of Hungary|
For more notable UUs, please see these other lists:
What We Believe
|Read “What We Wish People Knew About Unitarian Universalism”|
Most faiths are based around a specific set of beliefs; Unitarian Universalists are united primarily not by “beliefs” but by “values” including tolerance, compassion and a desire to make the world a more just and humane place for all.
We believe it makes no difference whether you are agnostic or atheistic or believe in Jesus, Buddha, or another deity, but rather how you live your life.
We draw from many religious and ethical sources, but the covenant which binds us together is the affirmation of our seven principles.
Our Seven Principles
As Unitarian Universalists we covenant to affirm and promote:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Our Sources of Tradition
The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
- Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
- Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
- Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
- Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbours as ourselves;
- Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
- Spiritual teachings of Earth-centred traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
These principles and sources were written by members of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
What religion are you? Use the Spiritual Belief System Quiz (Belief-o-matic) to find out how closely what you believe matches what many of the world’s religions believe. (There are lots of ads, but it’s worth the effort.)
Joining the Choir
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.
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 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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
What Is Unitarianism?
- Cool Links
- Member Testimonies
- Notable Unitarians
- Our History
- Unitarian Humour
- Unitarian Organizations
- What We Believe
- Worth Thinking About
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.
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.