Fred Victor Beginnings
|"When Mary Sheffield arrived, she asked the boys to quit chewing (tobacco), but one of them, a seven-year-old named Johnny told her that they had enjoyed the habit so long they were addicted. Nevertheless they took out their wads and stored them in their pockets... And so Mary Sheffield began her Sunday School." (from The Fred Victor Mission Story by Cary Fagan, copyright 1993.)
You can trace Fred Victor's early beginnings to 1886. A pragmatic and visionary woman named Mary Sheffield began the first work of what became Fred Victor. She started a Sunday school for "rough and neglected" boys.
In 1894, manufacturer and financier Hart Massey, a member of Metropolitan Methodist Church, built a beautiful, new building at the corner of Queen and Jarvis Streets in downtown Toronto to house the mission. He named it after his youngest son, Fred Victor, who died in his early twenties.
The Mission's programs and services, organizational structure, funding sources and approach to helping others has changed over time. We don't have church services on the second floor anymore, for example. And we are funded by all levels of government, private citizens, corporations, foundations, churches, synagogues and other faith communities. "The Mission" became "The Centre" and most recently we have dropped the "Centre" and simply refer to the organization as "Fred Victor". Continue...