The church has its origins in 1830, when a group of Scottish immigrants formed the St. Andrew’s congregation. Its name was changed to St. Paul’s in 1873. William Thomas, recognized as “one of the founders of the Canadian architectural profession,” was the architect of our English Gothic revival building, erected between 1854 and 1857. The building’s grey stone mostly came from Hamilton quarries. The tower rises dramatically to a height of 100 feet to the top of the parapet line, where it almost imperceptibly reduces itself into an octagonal spire. The total height of tower and spire is 180 feet, and it is believed to be the highest of its kind, entirely stone, in Canada. The many beautiful stained glass windows of St. Paul’s depict the stories of the Bible, with the Lord’s Supper featured in the window at the front of the church.
The Bells of St. Paul’s were installed at a cost of $4,000 and were used first on Sunday, November 11, 1906. Eleven bells make up the chimes, the largest one weighing 2100 pounds (955 k) and the smallest one 300 pounds (136 k). The total weight is 9873 pounds (4488 k). The bells are played every Sunday morning calling worshippers to church and on other special occasions.
The Cross of Sacrifice, erected in 1921, commemorate the fallen men and women of the congregation. The large Celtic Cross is counted one of the most beautiful war memorials in the country. It was carved in Scotland, and is similar to the ancient crosses in Iona where Christianity was first brought to Scotland from Ireland by St. Columba. The arms of the Cross are truncated, and the column tapers from its base to the apex. A circle symbolical of a crown or wreath surrounds the arms. In Scotland and Ireland some of these ancient crosses still remain. A Service of Remembrance is held at the cross each year on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day.