History of Ontario California stake is a society whose mission is the development of welcoming and nurturing small converts into full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saint. There are more than one hundred and sixty congregations in this ward. This ward was organized in 1941 with the arrival of the sixteenth missionary from England, Charles W. Smith. These converts were mostly from German, Scandinavia, England, and Mexico. They were mainly of good moral character and held the same beliefs as the members of the mainstream Church of Christ.
It was expected that these converts would become an important element in the growth of the Church in their new home. They were given training in learning the new language and culture of Canada. Most were schooled at homes or in schools outside their area of origin. Their converts became members of the ward in which they lived. The newcomers brought from Germany, Scandinavia and other European countries had to pass through a strict screening process.
They were required to be free of sexually transmitted diseases and also show signs of being drug dependent. Those not approved for mission trips were sent back home. Some later were allowed to take missions for a year or two but then the restrictions again began to apply. When World War II arrived many of the German converts to Canada were incarcerated in prison camps where they were subjected to harsh treatment including beatings, sexual abuses and death.
Some of the members of this ward were among the first to settle in this ward. These early settlers settled in a mission area in southern Ontario. A few of these converts joined the war effort against Nazi Germany. There were many German and Italian volunteers who fought on the side of the Americans. These people were instrumental in winning battles for the freedom of many Canadian prisoners of war.
In the later years there was a substantial German influence in the community. Many Germans settled here during the Second World War. The German influence reached its height in the mid 1940’s when two thirds of the warders in the Indian Residential School were German. This is also one of the few communities in Ontario, where almost half of the elementary students in the public elementary school are German. The history of this Ward has also been an inspiration for many future Ontarians.
It has also been the site of some interesting events. For example in November of 1988 the German Consul in Toronto visited this ward to pay his respects. The Consul was welcomed by the wards and was showered with a lot of warm French kisses. He was also offered some cookies and beer.