Martyrs' Shrine > Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Many questions get asked by visitors to Martyrs' Shrine. We have curated a list of questions that may help you.
Donations made online receive a tax receipt instantly by email. If you need assistance with a donation that was made online, please contact our online donations partner, CanadaHelps. Donations over $20 made directly to the Shrine will be processed in early February for the previous year. For those looking for tax receipts for donations under $20, please contact us.
Martyrs' Shrine is open to the public between the first Saturday in May to the Monday after Thanksgiving. Operating Hours are daily from 8:30am to 9:00pm. Special observances or events may be held outside of these dates. See our Events Calendar for more information.
Saturday and Sunday 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm and 7:30pm
May-June and September-October
Monday to Friday 9:00am, 12:00pm and 3:00pm
Monday to Friday 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm and 7:30pm
See our Event Calendar for more information.
The Martyrs’ Shrine is committed to welcoming and serving the needs of all pilgrims. The standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 are being increasingly incorporated into the development and management of our facilities, activities, and staff.
We welcome the use of assistive devices and service animals accompanying persons with disabilities on the grounds, in the Church, and in all of facilities at the Shrine. While we do our best to keep the Shrine grounds accessible, it is important to note that the grounds are hilly and pilgrims with reduced mobility may need assistance traversing some areas.
We are deeply committed to serving all pilgrims with excellence and we are pleased to offer the following services:
- Free admittance for a support person accompanying a person with a disability.
- The grounds have paved and bricked paths throughout the expansive grounds that allow for greater accessibility by foot, walker or vehicle.
- Assistive Devices Available: To facilitate movement around the grounds and facilities, wheelchairs are available for loan during visits to the Shrine, free of charge.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The Shrine Church was built as a seasonal church and is not heated. The ornate and delicate wooden interior of the church is particularly susceptible to damage due to condensation from body heat during the winter months.
Special observances or events may be held during this time. See our Events Calendar for more information.
The Shrine's Holy Water fountain is located outside the accessibility entrance on the north side of the Church of St. Joseph at Martyrs' Shrine. This fountain has been blessed by past and present priests. Many pilgrims visit just for the Holy Water. Many believe that it’s cleansing and healthy for the body and soul; others believe it can heal.
Water bottles and Holy Water is also available at the Shrine Gift Shop.
During the season, one of our Jesuit Fathers can be found inside of the Administration Office next to the Shrine Church. They are there to offer pastoral services during regular business hours including bestowing blessings on yourself, object or loved one.
The Martyrs' Shrine offers plenty of on-site bus and automobile parking including accessible parking. Accessibility parking is available immediately behind the Shrine Church.
For buses and tour operators, please see Group Bookings for Tour Operators.
Martyrs' Shrine does allow pets on the premises, granted they are leashed at all times.
We are pleased to offer church and grounds tours in both English and French. Please inquire through the Administration Office next to the Shrine Church or contact us for times and availability.
In accordance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2006 and Martyrs' Shrine policies, public smoking is not permitted on the premises at any time.
Outside food and beverages can be enjoyed on the Shrine grounds. However, alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Please use the trash receptacles provided around the grounds. The use of barbeques is permitted in picnic areas on the grounds but no open-flamed barbeques.
The Martyrs' Shrine belongs to and is managed by the Jesuits of Canada, a non-profit organization that also owns the Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.
A cathedral is the church of a bishop or archbishop, who is responsible for the administration of a diocese. A church is a title given to a church operated by clergymen or priests.
The Martyrs' Shrine does not perform baptisms or weddings as it is not a Parish Church with a registry. The Archdiocese in Toronto has designated it a national sanctuary of pilgrimage and prayer. We invite you to notify us of a wedding or baptism by sending a prayer request. We’ll gladly remember your intention on that important day!
Yes. Requests for announced and unannounced Masses are available to honour someone or to celebrate an occasion. Please see our Request a Mass page for more information.
Yes. The health and well-being of everyone at the Shrine are of utmost importance. Please see our COVID-19 Policies page for information on what we are doing to keep you safe.
A shrine is a church or other sacred place where either a relic is preserved, where an apparition has taken place, or where a historical event of faith has taken place. A shrine is typically designated to help foster devotion to a particular saint. For example, the Martyrs' Shrine was built to foster devotion to the North American Martyrs. Shrines are regulated by the local bishop in which they sit, and national shrines are designated by the country's conference of bishops with approval from authorities in Rome.
"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."
- Albert Pine