Evangelical Coffee

The man pouring the (free) coffee at the Stepping Stone coffee house is George Leroy who owned and ran the shop on Avenue Road, just north of Yorkville Ave - it opened in 1969. Leroy was a Pentecostal minister who described himself and his volunteers as “pushers of Christ.” The Stepping Stone was an independent ministry, not affiliated with a church, and the primary purpose was evangelism. The coffee and baked goods were free.

The Stepping Stone was apparently the second evangelical coffee shop in Yorkville after The Fishnet which opened in 1966 below a fashion shop on Yorkville Ave. The Fishnet was a ministry of the nearby Avenue Road Church where Kenn Opperman was the senior pastor - he ran the Fishnet with volunteers from the College and Careers group at the church. The coffee and cookies were free.


Images courtesy of Toronto Public Library.

Christ and Counterculture: Churches, Clergy, and Hippies in Toronto’s Yorkville, 1965-1970