Emery’s Marian Shrine of Gratitude is a special place to visit

By Sean Delaney

The Marian Shrine of Gratitude may not be known to many in Toronto. Still, the striking shrine is hidden at the end of a secluded path behind the Carmine Stefano Community Centre. In all it’s beautiful glory, the shrine features a statue of Mother Mary beneath a more prominent statue of Jesus with outstretched arms on the hill above her.

Even those not religiously inclined will feel a sense of peace here.

Once the summer home of the wealthy Gardiner family (of the Gardiner Museum), the property has belonged to the Ukrainian Basilian Monastery Order since 1958.

I recently dropped by the shrine to chat with Stan, who has dedicated himself to the daily upkeep and preservation of the shrine, volunteering a considerable amount of time and his own money to the task. It is his calling. Stan recently installed some Ukrainian flags as part of the decoration for Ukrainian Easter. The flags also remind visitors to keep the Ukrainian people in their thoughts and prayers as war rages on back at home.

The Marian Shrine of Gratitude is located behind the Community Centre at 3100 Weston Rd. and is open 24 hours, 365 days a year.