St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox church was founded in 1935. Due to the strife that was wrought within the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic (uniate) churches in North America by the Vatican's policy of not permitting married clergy to function in the new world, a large group of parishioners from the local Ukrainian Catholic (uniate) parish resolved to return to their ancestral Eastern Orthodox Faith, and with their priest, Fr. Andriy Sarmatiuk, formed St. John the Baptist Church. They were canonically received under the omophorion of Bishop Joseph Zuk of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA(Ecumenical Patriarchate). By the end of the year they had purchased and renovated a building (which still serves as the parish hall) and the religious and community life of the parish flourished.
In 1948 the parish passed into the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. Until this time the faithful had been worhshiping in the original building, which had been renovated by the parishioners and was part church, part parish hall. The decision was made to build a proper temple, and with God's help and the active support and labour of the faithful our current church building was constructed, and consecrated by Archbishop Mstislav (Skrypnyk) in 1951.
Following World War II many new immigrants came toOshawa from Ukraine and other areas of the former Soviet Union, and these Orthodox immigrants began to take an active part in parish life. Throughout its history St. John's has been home to many different religious, educational, cultural and community organizations.
The parishioners and parish youth of St. John's took a very active part
in thecelebrations of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada in 1968 as well as in the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus' - Ukraine in 1988. St. John's has also proudly hosted the "Odesa" pavilion during "Fiesta" - Oshawa's week-long multicultural festival - for over three decades.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 a "fourth wave" of immigrants from Ukraine arrived in Canada. As in the past, our parish again faces the joyful challenge of doing its best to accommodate the new while honouring the old, and serving the varied needs of those born in different parts of the world with different cultural sensibilities and languages here in our new homeland of Canada.