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 🙂
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