West Hill is a people, a place, and an idea. We are a community living out a progressive faith, striving to make a positive difference in our own lives, the lives of others, and the world.

Based in Scarborough Ontario, we have supporters as close as our neighbourhood and all over the world.  You belong with us! Connect with us in person, on the web, or here. We look forward to the journey with you.

Our mission:

Moved by a reverence for life to pursue justice for all, we inspire one another to seek truth, live fully, care deeply and make a difference.

Support West Hill!  Learn more or donate now through CanadaHelps.

The latest news, videos and perspectives from our community:

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West Hill: Are you ready to say, "I do"?

On Easter Sunday of each year, we open our arms and welcome people into our extraordinary space and the inspirational community that enlivens it. In fact, we do that every Sunday. But on Easter Sunday, we do it with a pledge to be present to everyone who, on that special day, chooses to become a member of our congregation and, through it, of The United Church of Canada.
While we, as a community, make that pledge to the individuals choosing to make West Hill their church home, they, too, make a pledge to us. In so doing, they are making it known that the principles by which West Hill guides itself are those they wish to use to guide their own lives. And they commit to helping us do that as a community.
In his ground-breaking book, The Exceptional 7 Percent: Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples, Gary Popcak presents his analysis of the most successful marriages. Noting that when each partner can identify what he or she wants to be when she or he dies, in other words, the most important ideals or goals in that person’s life, Popcak argues that the best marriages are those in which the partners commit to helping one another meet those goals. And that’s what we’re doing when we embrace new members; we’re committing to help them as they become the people they want to be and they are committing to help us become the church we want to be. It is a beautiful moment in time and one to celebrate. 
If you would like to join West Hill on Easter Sunday this year, please let gretta or annie know by emailing or phoning the office. Gretta will want to have a conversation with you so that the celebration is as rich for you as it can be.
If you don't live near our Scarborough church but would like to become a member of West Hill, we are willing to work with you to create a meaningful relationship that will last over the years to come. Some of our members are only able to join us very infrequently because of the distance at which they live. Others are able to join us for our Visitors' and Travellers' services which take place on the first Sunday of each month and are followed by a lunch. This year, we are receiving members who are regular attendees at West West Hill in Mississauga. Wherever you are, if you're ready to join us, we're ready to make the commitment and can exchange vows by Skype or in some other way that works for you. Just let us know and we'll work out the details. It will be wonderful to have you join us as part of our family.



Dream Away: Palm Sunday and Easter Re-Imagined

Each year, West Hill's community gathers, along with all churches in the west (Eastern churches recognize other dates), to explore the great themes of death and resurrection. We don't, however, focus on a death and resurrection that took place two millennia ago. Rather, we explore these themes as they are relevant right now in our world, our relationships, and our lives. 

In a theologically barrier-free community, there will be those for whom the traditional Easter story has deep meaning and there will be those for whom the story seems anachronistic - completely irrational when viewed from a 21st century perspective. And so it is important to honour the tradition while doing so in language, metaphor, and symbol that can be interpreted by anyone to be meaningful regardless what worldview through which they are experiencing it. That's one of the things that West Hill does and struggles to do with more integrity each year. 

Join us at 10:30 on the mornings of March 29th and April 5th as we reach deep into the complexities and challenges that resonate with an ancient story but face us at this moment in time and seek within them the beauty of possibility and hope. 


Stephanie Baptist on Ontario's new sex-ed curriculum

As a counsellor with Toronto Public Health, Stephanie has much to offer parents and educators as they bring healthy change to their home and school environments.  She was featured in a Toronto Star article this week on Ontario's new sex-ed curriculum and is pictured with her daughter, Ellen. Way to rock, Stephanie!

New sex-ed curriculum, Toronto Star


Your Sacred Story - with Janice Meighan

Six Week Workshop Series

A wonderful opportunity to engage in discussion and explore elements of your journey as a sacred human person. During the traditional season of Lent the story of Jesus, both as human and the Christ, has been the focus; it has been told and retold and reimagined – even at WHU, from its founding 65 years ago to recent times.              

We will briefly look at character traits and elements from 5 Gospel Authors about the life of Jesus, the human person, as “jumping off” points.  But YOU have a sacred story and this workshop is for you and others to explore what that sacred story is, if you don’t already know it fully.  If you have already connected with your story, we'd love for you to come out and share it with us.  

We are offering two attendance options:  

  • Monday Mornings           February 23nd   – March 30th 10:00 am – 11:30 am                                                             (The Sunday morning time slot previously offered, has been replaced with Monday mornings!)
  • Wednesday Evenings     February 25th    – April 1st        7:30 pm –  9:00 pm 

This workshop is open to everyone and has no registration fee; however, there will be a basket for any free-will offerings to help cover costs of refreshments and workshop materials.  

If you have any questions or concerns, or simply want more information please speak with Janice in person or email Janice.meighan@sympatico.ca


What Has Life Taught You?

One of our 65 Ways to Wonder projects is a beautiful book that will highlight what it is we, as people engaged with West Hill United, have learned on our way through life. Set against Gretta's photography, the book will share insights from our youngest members to our oldest and will be a testimony to the ideals and values that West Hill people hold dear. 

To participate, simply complete the sentence, "In _______ years, I've learned that ________" twenty times. Why twenty? Because we want you to think deeply about what it is you've learned and why it has been important to you.  We'd like you to make sure your age is filled in in the blank but we don't need any further information. You can add your name if you like, but if you do, please also let us know whether you are okay with us publishing it in the book.

The entries will be edited and selected for publication and the result will be a testimony to what we, as an extraordinary community, have learned over the accumulation of our years. 

Send your responses to the office or drop a paper copy off next time you're in.  

Thanks for participating in this special 65th anniversary project!


Train Wreck, April 11, 2015

Coming on April 11th, the wonder of Rick Miller's new band Train Wreck. A combination of party and persona, Train Wreck entertains and enlightens as its musicians and back-up singers frame the shifting caricatures of pop legends that channel through Rick to enchant audiecnces. Our brand new venue will vibrate with energy and song and be the perfect way to shake off the winter blues. Tickets, $20, available through the office or at the door, admin@westhill.net. Cash bar and refreshments will be available. April 11, 2015, TIME TBA. 


Women Rock!

We are vere excited to be hosting an evening with Rick Miller's new band, Train Wreck on April 11th. It is going to be an exciting night as we introduce the band scene to our great new intimate venue and an exciting night for us as we welcome back Rick and Steph in totally new roles!

But your role that night might amaze you even more! Consider what it would be like to be a back up singer for Train Wreck! Totally AWESOME! If you've ever flipped up your soup spoon or shampoo bottle when no one was around and rocked those songs we all so love. well, baby, it's time to come clean: you're a diva and you know it!

Led by Stephanie Baptist, her diva companions, and our own Babette, you'll choose a favourite song from Train Wreck's incredible repertoire, learn the words and the oo-oo-aahs. get some choreography down, and polish your singing voice. Then, on the night of the concert, you'll be the back-up singer for your very special moment in the limelight. 

The facilitated Women Rock workshops are scheduled for the evenings of March 2, 9, and 30 with an unfacilitated practice session on March 23. Get those dates in your calendar now!

We're working to accommodate as many divas as possible but the registration numbers are going to be tight so reserve your spot early by contacting the office. Costs for participation is $50/person; $20 for participants under 20. If the cost is prohibitive, please speak with gretta. Register by contacting the office.

Here are the official dates! 


Monday, March 2, Introduction with TRAINWRECK promo video, song selections, costume possibilities, percussion, and writing activities
Monday, March 9, Scott Kearns and Babette Oliveira join us, providing musical direction for the harmonies in our chosen songs
Monday, March 16, NO GATHERING due to March Break
Monday, March 23, Optional session for participants who would like to meet with their groups to practice their parts
Monday, March 30, Tiffany Knight and Bonnie Gaztambide join us to choreograph our numbers
Monday, April 6, NO GATHERING due to Easter Monday
Saturday, April 11, Showtime! We join TRAINWRECK onstage for West Hill's first-ever pub night!




Inspired by Hollywood

We began our annual examination of the films nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award on January 11th with The Imitation Game, a powerful metaphor for deciphering our own selves. For six weeks, the Sunday gathering will focus on one of the pictures and bring the innovation, challenges, and provocation of the silver screen into our Perspective(s). It is a wonderful way to engage newcomers so don't hesitate to bring your friends to explore and discuss these amazing films. 

See and share the poster below for films that will inspire upcoming services.



West Hill - The Idea

West Hill has been about adaptation and change over the whole course of its history. Some of that change has been in response to things happening in the wider world, like when Scarborough first began to pave its roads and build whole subdivisions and we decided to create a congregation. Some of it has been because we were ready to do something different, like the reconception of our building and the construction of two new wings. And some change happened because we were ready to do something better, like becoming an Affirming congregation. 

Change happens. But when it does, we want to be its drivers. Join us for our conversations about "West Hill - The Idea." Saturday, January 24th, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 1st, from just after the Visitors' and Travellers' lunch to 2:30 p.m. 

Many of you completed the survey which will form the basis for the conversations we will have on January 24th. Thank you for doing that. The more information we have, the better able we will be to decipher our way forward. 

The Process

The work we do together will be overseen by the Board and facilitated by Rollin Cormier whose professional life involved just this sort of analysis and planning in large corporations. We are delighted and honoured that he is sharing his wisdom with us.

The data from the survey will be compiled and several statements about the church will surface, each related to something at West Hill which currently seems to be creating a challenge or preventing its mission. These will be engaged at the meeting on January 24th and you will have an opportunity to speak to each of the issues. The responses to each issue will also be recorded and further analyzed.

Following the Visitors' and Travellers' lunch on Sunday, February 1st, we will remain for another hour or so as the results of the information gatherer are shared in the form of a work plan for the congregation. Each person who has been involved in the process will see the cumulative input of the group reflected in the plan as it evolves. 

We have been blunt about our current situation and have needed to be. Our volunteer leadership resources and our financial resources are at a very critical state. The strategic plan that guided our operations over the last few years was a growth plan built upon the significant increase in attendance we had witnessed over previous years. But the reversal of that trend over the same year in which we increased our staffing - all part of the strategic plan - has depleted our resources. Heading into 2015, our budget currently exhausts our financial reserves within a few months. And this time have no cushion to fall back upon. 

Plelase make it a priority to join us for these two workshops, Saturday, January 24th from 10 to 3 and Sunday, February 1, from after lunch to 2:30. Together, we will drive the change, working with the idea of what West Hill is and can be.



The Longest Night

We had two amazing Longest Night services this year!

West West Hill

The first was in Mississauga where West West Hill is beginning to draw together an amazing group of inspiring people. They gathered in the beauty of Applewood United's library and created their own beauty as the evening went on. A special thank you goes out to Scott and Babette for taking the leadership of this memorable event. 


West Hill, West Hill

Our second Longest Night service was held in our own building. Music, readings, and candles, were the tools through which participants reflected on the challenges faced by so many at this and every time of the year and provided opportunity for new commitments to be made. Over one hundred and ten people lit their tapers at the end of the service and, wearing their candlewick bracelets, raised the light in the world by igniting their hearts with love. It was a beautiful event. 

We are grateful to Scott and Babette for taking the leadership of both Longest Night events and for those who helped them with the set-up, readings, and candle lighting. As one of our signature services, it couldn't have been more beautifully offered.