Our history

Dedicating the Mount Pleasant Cairn

Formed in 1836 at a time of some political upheaval, Scots families met at St. Andrew’s Church and decided that a Society should be formed so that, as a united group, they could raise money to assist new immigrants from Scotland who were in distressed circumstances.

George Brown was our President twice.

During the First World War, Society members helped convalescent wounded servicemen with both time and money.

An interesting excerpt from One Hundred Years HistoryThe August meeting minutes of 1928 contain a sincere memory of an active member in the Society, John Catto who was urgent in every good cause and particularly in the affairs of the St. Andrew’s Society. “Our” John Catto, equally urgent in good causes, is our senior past President.

As you can see, membership was restricted to men, and it took until 1988 (check date) for women to be accepted as members.

Wonder about the connection with 48th Highlanders? The connection dates back to 1891, when a group of Scottish organizations, including the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto, raised funds and lobbied the government to enable a new regiment, the 48th, to be formed. Interestingly, the first President of the Society, (1836) William Allan, lived in a house named “Moss Park.”

The complete text of One Hundred Years History is available online.



A new book, published in 2018, continues the story of our history. Our Second Century: A History of the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto, 1936–2018 is available at no charge for download or reading online. A printed copy is also available for $11, plus postage.

Throughout the 176 years of its existence, the Society has been dedicated to maintaining connections with Scottish culture and helping those in need.