Wesley Mimico United Church was built in two stages

I’ve noted in a previous blog post that there’s a subtle difference in the colour of the brick exteriors of Wesley Mimico United Church, depending on which part of the building you happen to be looking at.

The original building was built starting in 1922. It was, as I understand, completed around 1924. Construction on an addition, facing Mimico Avenue, was started in 1953 and completed in about 1954. The original entrance to the church was through the bell tower on Station Road. In the construction completed around 1954, a new entrance was built on the south side of the new addition.

Update: An Aug. 21, 2013 City of Toronto staff report indicates the original building was completed in 1923 and the subsequent addition was completed in 1953. [End of update]

The two-stage construction process has in turn influenced the characterization of the architectural style of the building.

The difference in the colour of the bricks, in the original building as contrasted to the addition that was added on the south side in the early 1950s, had escaped my notice until I began to study the building’s construction history. Some observers, on the other hand, would have noticed these details years ago.

I was delighted when I became aware of these subtle distinctions between the old and new editions of the building.

From what I’ve been able to gather, the difference is particularly noticeable, for the purposes of a photographic record, in the early morning on a sunny day. From what I’ve been able to learn, the difference is not as noticeable in photos taken on an overcast day.

The two-stage history of construction accounts for the building’s irregular/assymetrical massing typology

An inventory of historic places of worship in Ontario notes that the architectural design of Wesley Mimico United Church demonstrates a massing typology categorized as irregular/ asymmetrical and a style typology categorized as Italianate.

Typology, as I understand, is a concept that enables the classification of building designs according to architectural principles.

An irregular/symmetrical massing typology is described in the above-noted document as being ‘not easily identifiable as any other style. It is often the result of a built-up series of architecturally contradictory additions or phases.” The church was built in two phases, completed in 1924 and in 1954. That I assume is what accounts for its massing typology.

Photos related to differences in colour of 1924 bricks walls as compared to 1954 walls:


The part of the church that faces south toward Mimico Avenue was built starting in 1953. Jaan Pill photo

On the left is the edition built in 1953. The bell tower and the edition north of it was built starting in 1922. Jaan Pill photo

On the left is the 1954 addition to the church. On the right is the original 1924 structure. Jaan Pill photo

In a closer view, the 1954 addition is on the left; the bell tower, visible on the right, was part of the building that was completed in 1924. Jaan Pill photo

Close view indicates colour of 1924 edition of the building. Jaan Pill photo

Close view indicates colour of 1954 addition to the original building. Jaan Pill photo

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