I recently took some photos at the Wesley Mimico United Church building. As I was wandering around, I was wondering about the current status of the building. I noticed that some construction was underway.
In previous years, I’ve closely followed the story of a range of proposals to redevelop the church.
In the process, I learned many things about the history of heritage preservation efforts, as they relate to the repurposing of church buildings – in Toronto and elsewhere in the world.
It’s a topic of much interest to many people.
Among the trends that underly the narrative is a general decline in church attendance. Congregations, with fewer members, tend to have less money than in years past. Without strong financial resources, the cost of keeping a church building in good repair may becomes prohibitive. Under such circumstances, difficult choices must be made.
Two questions rule the day
(1) How can we make sense of the changes that occur in our lives? Many sense-making options are available.
(2) To what extent can we, as citizens, demonstrate a sense of human agency, by way of influencing the direction along which change proceeds? This is a fundamental question. Again, many options are available. We try out different things. We learn by doing, by doing what we can, whatever the circumstances may be. We learn from our experiences.
Mimico history blog
I found the following Jan. 1, 2017 update at a blog about Mimico History that Michael Harrison maintains.
Michael’s post regarding Wesley Mimico United Church includes the following update:
Update – Jan. 1, 2017
The building has been sold and a Montessori School is setting up in the church. I understand that the new owner is working with Heritage Preservation Planning staff at the city on the renovations. However, despite the fact that the stain glass windows were part of the designation under the Ontario Heritage Act prior to the sale the church illegally removed them from the building. City staff have decided not to pursue this violation.