Sharon Temple was constructed between 1825 and 1831 by The Children of Peace, former Quakers with a philosophy based on the values of peace, equality and social justice.
The leader of the sect was David Willson, who was born in New York State in 1778 and migrated to Canada in 1801. After his dismissal from the Quakers, Willson established The Children of Peace incorporating some Quaker doctrines, elements of mysticism and Jewish ceremony.
The Temple was designed as an architectural representation of the sect's philosophy. The square shape and the centre doors on each side symbolize equal acceptance of people from all directions.
The three storeys represent the Holy Trinity.
The windows contain 2,952 panes of glass and are lighted on the first Friday night of September every year with 116 candles.
The Temple was not a church. It had only one purpose; the Children of Peace met there once a month to raise alms for the poor.
The elegant curved staircase leading to the musicians' gallery is known as Jacob's Ladder.
In the centre of the
Built in rough imitation of King Solomon's temple, the building also features 12 pillars representing the apostles and four central pillars bearing the words Faith, Hope, Love, and Charity.
After Willson's death in 1866 the sect slowly diminished. The last service was held in the Temple in 1889. The derelict Temple was purchased by the York Pioneer and Historical Society in 1917, and restored, making it one of the earliest examples of historic preservation in Canada.