Thursday Doors – March 31, 2016

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

Special Anniversary Edition – Church of the Holy Trinity (Part 1) – Toronto

Note: As a novel way to mark last week’s first anniversary as a link-up event this week’s Thursday Doors post is written in two parts, with the second part written by my blog buddy Joanne Sisco over at My Life Lived Full.


This brick and limestone structure was built in 1847 in the Gothic Revival style in what is now the heart of downtown Toronto. It’s also a wonderful example of what can happen when a community bands together to fight for something that matters.

From the mid 1970’s on, the city of Toronto has experienced unprecedented growth. Since then real estate developers have been on a four decade long feeding frenzy putting together major projects for office towers, shopping malls, and lately lakefront condos.

Progress and development are not a bad thing per se. It attracts businesses and people, brings jobs, increases demand for housing and resources, and spurs economic growth that many benefit from.

Though obviously a financial boon, this period in the city’s history is also considered by many to be one of it’s darkest periods culturally and historically as many of Toronto’s older buildings were demolished seemingly without regard for the past, to make room for shiny new skyscrapers and malls.


Parishioners of Holy Trinity Church mobilized in the early 1970’s after getting wind of the plans to expand the nearby Eaton Centre complex that included demolishing their church as well as the beloved and gorgeous Old City Hall building.

In 1971 a committee was formed to represent church interests in their negotiations with the city and the developers, Cadillac Fairview who wanted as much of the churches land as they could get their hands on for this project.

After years of negotiations and concessions, proposals and counter proposals, heated city council debates and changing architectural drawings, the newly expanded Eaton Center finally opened for business with over 1 million square feet of retail floor space in 1977.

Today after several subsequent rounds of mall expansion this modest Anglican Church finds itself surrounded on three sides by a complex that now contains over 1.7 million square feet of retail space as well as a hotel, and a tower belonging to a local business school.


Even with the concession made by the developers to the leave church more space, Trinity Square and the church itself still spend the better part of the day in the shade of the surrounding buildings:



But at least the church and the old reverend’s residence were spared and are still serving the needs of the community with programs to help the homeless and disenfranchised in the inner city, and a refugee committee to facilitate the integration of new arrivals:


I did not have time when I was there to visit the interior, but here are some of the lovely exterior doors:






As mentioned above I decided to team up with Joanne on this one to try something different for our first year of Thursday Doors; in part because I’ve always wanted to try a post spread out over two different blogs and also because hey, this is her turf after all 🙂

You can find out more about Holy Trinity Church with other lovely images of the interior in part two of this post here: Holy Trinity part 2

As always, I thank you for reading 🙂

Don’t forget to click on this blue button to add the link to your own Thursday Doors post to this week’s list:

If you share your posts on Twitter and Instagram remember to use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag and please do take a few minutes to visit the Thursday Door posts shared by others.

About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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66 Responses to Thursday Doors – March 31, 2016

  1. facetfully says:

    Very nice…and an open door too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    I liked this tag team effort with Joanne, Norm. Very glad to see the green door. Just nice to see a different color. One door open makes one feel welcome! I enjoyed one photo has it in shade and another in sunlight. Pretty Holy Trinity Church!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. terryb says:

    Happy to see this great old structure didn’t become a casualty of urban renewal … Very nice two part collaboration! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mrs. P says:

    Happy Anniversary! Urban Renewal killed many old historic districts throughout the US. Some cities require new construction has to compliment the existing architecture. I really appreciate the few cities that have maintained their vintage structures….they are priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome; glad there was an encore to your Part 1 Anniversary. Your photos looked great and the history of the church and current development was great reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katieprior says:

    Thanks for the invite Norm! Nice pictures of the church, it looks a bit squashed in between the other buildings, but looks a lovely building, at least they didn’t build shops on top of it! I like how your pictures show the mix between old and new, the old doors with the new signs on them, nice touch! I’m going over to part two now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jesh stg says:

    That’s a better way to use a former church building than what they do in Holland -which is to use them as storage places. The problem with the latter is that vandalism is often the result.
    Love the cute second green door, even though it looks like an add-on! Thanks for hosting:)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Geert Smits says:

    Great series! I like them all 🙂 It is a nice challenge every week. Sort of gives me a photographic benchmark, #thursdaydoors. Tomorrow I going to do a serie on the The Hague Municipal Railway line 17. I assume there a lot of new exciting doors! The first to be presented next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cee Neuner says:

    Such a wonderful anniversary post. Congrats.
    Here is my entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jan says:

    Great pics – especially the one with all the angles – 3rd from the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great collection of buildings, Norm, and doors, of course. Well done to those people who stopped those lovely old buildings from disappearing. I had a look at the city hall in your link and its fabulous. How on earth could anyone even think of demolishing such a beauty?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. marianallen says:

    Wonderful doors in a beautiful building and an inspiring story. I’m so happy to know that this piece of the past is preserved and serving the community. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. joey says:

    Interesting story! You’ve managed to capture so many different angles here, it gives a real life feel to me. Those are all great doors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joey. What I’m learning through this whole doors experience is that whenever possible doing a once-around of the entire building can net some wonderful discoveries and bring out some unusual angles and perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Helen Jones says:

    Well this brought back memories! I went to Ryerson University, just nearby, and we actually held a show inside the Church – it is as lovely inside as the outside suggests. Thanks for the trip into the past, Norm 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Glad I could take you for a stroll down memory lane Helen. They say the acoustics in this place are quite nice – I few bands have even recorded albums their.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Jones says:

        The acoustics are excellent – we had recorded music but it sounded beautiful. And I was interested to read that the interior is now tables and chairs – when we did our show (it was a fashion event) the original wooden pews were still in place, and we used the aisle as our catwalk. I hope they’ve still got the pews somewhere, as they were quite lovely.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Lynn says:

    I love that the 2 of you collaborated on this post! Always enjoy both of your thursday door posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I echo what was said before I got here. I’m so glad the parishioners saved the building! It’s a beautiful building at that! I’m surprised it hadn’t been granted “historic landmark” status long before the 70’s.

    The doors are wonderful with their hardware and shapes.

    I’m heading over to Joanne’s to read part II.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dimlamp says:

    Lovely collection, bless those parishioners and their supporters who saved this church from deconstruction!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A wonderful collection of doors, Norm. What a great pity to spoil the surrounding area with more shops. I suppose it’s called ‘progress’. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks – I know what you mean. I was a weird feeling; we were there the week before Christmas and it seemed like such a shame for this poor little church to be surrounded by concrete, but at the same time it left me hopeful too because it’s STILL there 🙂


  19. RuthsArc says:

    What a fun idea to dual post. Nice doors but I also like the 4th image, showing more of the church and square. I’m popping over to Joanne’s blog now for part 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A historic religious building surrounded by ugly retail can still produce enough beautiful doors and windows to make a coffee table book – impressive. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Such a beautiful church.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Although not all old buildings are worth saving (some are quite awful) and not all new buildings are bad or ugly, I do like reusing and even re-purposing old buildings whenever possible. Just as old and new need to live together harmoniously in life and have much to teach each other, so do different types and eras of buildings.

    Your photos of this beautiful church and its doors remind me of a classic children’s book, “The Little House”, by Virginia Lee Burton ( Although the ending is a bit different in the book, it shows the house, which started alone in the country, gradually becoming surrounded by the city. It’s a classic.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Janet 🙂
      You’re right not all old building are worth saving and this mall, the busiest in Canada, provides quite a few jobs too. I’m just glad they were able to find a compromise that everyone could live with.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m visiting from Joanne’s blog. I love your photos (and my favourite is the same as Joanne’s) but I very much liked the story attached to this little church. There’s something almost ironic about a place that is all about consumerism surrounding a place that cares for those who are disenfranchised from a consumerist society.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dan Antion says:

    There’s a great collection of doors all on one building!. Great job Norm. It’s sad that they have been hounded and surrounded, but I’m glad to see them still maintaining a viable parish. Developers have no sense of history. Most look forward to being around long enough to tear down what they’re building today so they can build something new again. I love the shot of the open door.

    Great job on this post and this series. It’s fun and I look forward to it each week. I’ll be late today, but I’ll be out here. Heading over to see part two,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Dan – In the end, everyone got something they could live with, which is a good thing. This mall is supposedly the biggest tourist attraction in Toronto along with the CN Tower, and it’s the busiest one in the entire country.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. joannesisco says:

    So many great photos in here Norm … from the 1st one that looks like a mini castle, to the 4th one at the back that looks like an interesting old cottage.
    My favourite one though has to be the 3rd one from the bottom. The back entrance tucked away in the alcove with the outside door, to the inside door, and the narrow window above. Love the look of this 🙂

    Thank you so much for inviting me to do this dual post with you today. It was a lot of fun 🙂
    I’ll buy the first round when we meet someday 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  26. pommepal says:

    I love to hear stories of people power saving the day for this beautiful old church. So much heritage is lost over here too in the name of “progress” Sad to see it so encroached by the mall buildings but pleased it is still operating as a refuge and church. I am showing heritage doors this week. Now to pop over and see Joanne’s post.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Norm, I couldn’t get my blog to link this morning. Do I need to join that Linked In thing or what?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never mind Norm, I finally woke up and figured it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like the 4th picture of the church, but they just left it a little space didn’t they? In our little town, the developers can only build 20 houses before they have to put a park of some type in the neighborhood. The development must also have condos and single family housing. If a church agrees to build in the neighborhood the developer get top priority and every developed community must have so many homes that is marked for subsidized housing. The home has to look and be maintained like the other properties, but is subsidized by the town. A good way to go I think!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Developers are a scourge.

    Liked by 1 person

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