Swastika is a Northern Ontario community about ten minutes west of Kirkland Lake. (Three hours north of North Bay). The town was formed in 1908 by miners who came to develop the “Lucky Cross” (Swastika) gold mine. Unfortunately the gold mine at that site didn’t work out, but the town held on and many lived there and worked at the Kirkland Lake gold mine (before Kirkland Lake existed as a town). During World War II there was pressure from the Government to change the town’s name to “Winston” after Winston Churchill, but the town stood firm on the name which they believed was a Native name meaning “setting of the sun”.
In 1911 a Methodist church was started in the local store and eventually a building built. The Methodists and the Presbyterians shared the building for a time as well. In 1945 the current building was built and became Swastika Community Church (United Church of Canada).
The Church held it’s 100th Anniversary on June 26, 2011, in conjunction with its closing. At that ceremony Swastika Community Church ceased to exist as a congregation of the United Church of Canada and the keys to the building and property deed were given to the Wesleyan Church of Canada. Our first Sunday was November 13, 2011.
A huge thank you to the Swastika United Church for their hard work over the years and generous gift of this building and property to the Wesleyan Church of Canada. The Wesleyan Church of Canada took up the call and Riverside Community Church was born! We are excited to be able to be part of this vibrant community!
In May 2014 Riverside took posession of the former Swastika Public School Buildling only a block away from it’s original buildling. After spending months renovating, painting and cleaning (thanks to A LOT of help from individuals and groups from across the Province) we moved into our new facility October 5th, holding our Grand Opening November 15 & 16th, 2014. We are excited to have a space that will help us to continue to meet the needs of our community.
Riverside Community Church is located off of Hwy 66 in Swastika, near the site where the Blanche River intersects the highway. The river flows through the entire community and Swastika’s beautiful riverside park is a well-loved destination for family outings, picnics and outdoor weddings. As such, we felt the name was fitting.
Riverside will serve the West-Kirkland Lake areas – Swastika, Kenogami, Sesekinika and communities along Hwy 112. Our hope is that the church building can be used in a variety of capacities to serve the community.