Thursday Doors – January 9, 2020

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 your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). 

Old Church – New Vocation, Joliette, Quebec

Welcome back everyone and Happy 2020 to all! I don’t know about you, but after a 2-week R & R break for the holidays it sure feels good to be back on the hunt for doors.

This week’s doors are admittedly not spectacular but I fell in love with the whole concept of what I discovered here and I felt this was a story worth telling.

In this predominantly French Roman Catholic part of Canada the church has been fading in influence and importance for many years.

Regardless of the reasons for this decline, what is sad is to see so many grand and often historically important buildings being sold off to developers, only to tear them down to build something else or convert them into garish-looking condos.

In 2005 the Catholic church was faced with just such a decision over its Église Saint-Pierre in Joliette, north-east of Montréal. In this case however they were able to find a buyer with a much more culturally-minded long-term development plan.

The town had been growing and was finding that its municipal library was no longer big enough to meet the needs of the community. Somewhere along the planning and discussion process someone had the brilliant idea that instead of expanding the existing library or building a new one, the town could buy the old church and save it from the wrecking ball by converting it into their much needed bigger library.

Mild temps meant not much snow here over the holidays.

In July 0f 2007 after a little less than 2 years, the work was complete and Église Saint-Pierre reopened to the citizens of Joliette as Bibliothèque Rina-Lasnier.

Named after a local award-winning poet and playwright, the new multi-level town library was an instant success, with over 1400 visitors on opening day alone.

On my visit over the holidays I did my usual walk-around to check out the exterior features of the building.

A former bell-tower makes a good elevator shaft to make the 2nd floor and the basement level accessible to everyone.

I was very much excited to go inside to see how they handled the conversion where it would be most noticeable.

Part of the childrens’ reading corner nestled into a loft of the old church

I was not disappointed with what I found.

Looking back towards the entrance.

They did a good job of turning what would have been a dimly lit interior space into a bright welcoming place, while still maintaining some of the essential features of the building that leave hints to its original function.

Opposite view from just above the main entrance.

The library which is open seven days a week, now services both Joliette and the neighbouring small town of Saint-Charles-Borromée, and is one of the most successful church conversions that I’ve ever seen.

Now don’t you just love a story with a happy ending?

As always, I thank you for stopping in 🙂

Have a door post of your own that you’d like to share this week? Please add your link in the comments section below. You have until noon eastern North American time on Saturday.

And please, take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by our other contributors.

Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Then simply add the link to your post in the comments section below.

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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75 Responses to Thursday Doors – January 9, 2020

  1. Sartenada says:

    What a great post showing gorgeous doors! Thank you.


  2. Happy New Year!! That’s a beautiful church and a great idea to turn it into a library.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year, Norm 🎉 fantastic post 👏


  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    I love happy endings … and beautiful old buildings that have been repurposed. You are right – they did an outstanding job on this one! Conversion of the bell tower into an elevator shaft was particularly inspired! Don’t you just love it when creative people are involved!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cee Neuner says:

    Norm, you selection of doors for the new year are wonderful. 😀
    Here is my entry for this week.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. TCast says:

    Norm, this church is a great way to start 2020. Here is mine.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Corina says:

    It is wonderful Thai this magnificent building was saved! And as a biblioteque!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  8. amoralegria says:

    Wow, what an awesome way to repurpose a building! I’m so glad they didn’t tear it down. We saw quite a bit of this sort of thing in Europe – churches that are now museums, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Yes Europeans generally seem better at preserving or repurposing buildings. Often in North America we look at tearing down and starting over as if it was the only option.


  9. Hi Norm, Great doors to welcome 2020! After a bit of a long break, here’s my contribution this week:

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Beautiful church with a creative idea to turn it into a library!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. joey says:

    That’s fantastic! What a wonderful repurposed place! As I was reading what you wrote about the exterior shots, I grew impatient, “Please Norm, please tell me you went inside! There are books in there, man!” Good job! I am so satisfied 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. And, this is why you are the Door King! What a marvelous example of what can be done when people value their history. I wish our town had been that forward thinking because they took a wrecking ball to it and replaced it with apartments. Ugly. Thank you for this post because it gets the year off to a great start. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. What a gorgeous library! I could live there (do you think they’d let me move in?). When we visited Old Quebec several years ago we took a walking tour and the guide mentioned the quite precipitous falling off of Catholic church attendance. I imagine there are many reasons for this, but I’m so happy at least some of the grand buildings are being saved. I’m not a church-goer, but I am passionate about libraries.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. JT Twissel says:

    That is quite a conversion! And an inspiring start to the New Year, my friend. Here’s my offering – as usual a bit of a cheat!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Stephanie says:

    That is definitely a story to be told and noticed! Saving books as well as a church. Can’t get much better than that!
    my link:

    Liked by 2 people

  16. DrJunieper says:

    Glad you are back and had a rest:) Thurs. doors has become such a standard item on my weekly post, it felt “unfinished” without a door! Love how the originators made the door stand out by the darker color. What I love is that the stained glass panel still remains a feature, instead of hiding it.The front with the rosette at the front entrance. From the outside it does not look like there’s place for two stories. They did a great job of dispersing the space inside. Up to a new blogging year, Norm:)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Su Leslie says:

    Happy New Year Norm. This is a wonderful story in so many ways. I love libraries and have a sneaky passion for church architecture so this marriage makes me so happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a brilliant first post of the year, Norm! How uplifting is that, and I don’t mean only that most excellent lettered elevator shaft. While over here in Rome libraries and bookshops keep closing, you’ve got such a beautiful new one. Such a beautiful find and gorgeous photographs. And doors, yes, they are necessary because people need to enter somehow. 😀

    My post is about a special walk and while it does include doors, I’m afraid most are held hostage by the (dodgy) street literates, which you won’t like. But this time it was all about the company and I was merely shooting doors from the hip out of habit.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Norm this was the perfect post for the NEW YEAR! So many churches have been turned into restaurants and coffee houses in the UK and I was truly shocked! This is a great way to preserve the building and serve the community!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Great use of a beautiful church.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. marianallen says:

    Wow! What a great library! I love the secure-looking doors, and OF COURSE the stonework around them. My doors are few, but happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Happy new year everyone! My post is up, reading and commenting will have to happen later because my son asked me to watch a Harry Potter film with him now 🙂 A building that took my by surprise:

    Liked by 2 people

  23. A beautiful story for the holidays, and lovely photos.

    A happy new year to you. I have ginger today instead of frankincense and myrrh:

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Nous avons visité cette bibliothèque de Joliette; une très jolie conversion.

    Il y a une aussi à Montréal sur l’avenue du Parc (Biblio Mordicai-Richler). Une église anglicane qui a été convertie en bibliothèque publique à la fin des années 90 et rénové l’été dernier. Une très belle conversion. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Merci Suzanne. J’ai passer devant le biblio sur du Parc l’été dernier; je disait que c’etait probablement un bon sujet pour un post. Je vais essayer de faire une visite bientôt pour voir la conversion et bien sur pour prendre quelques photos aussi 😉


  25. The paint was still wet on this one when I took this shot. The artist was just finishing it off as I was passing by.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Happy 2020, Norm, and what a wonderful way to start the year, with a story such as this one. I love to see old, beautiful buildings repurposed. This was not only successful but a library, one of my favorite places. Win-win-win-win… 🙂 I hope you had a refreshing break and a joyous Christmas.


    Liked by 2 people

  27. This is truly wonderful, Norm. I love to see old buildings being repurposed. Like the former Post Office I live in, which is now not only my home, but home to the Fashion History Museum!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Deb. The character and the durability of older structures is generally so much better than a new build so it’s hard not to appreciate it when they manage to save one.
      I seem to remember you posted about your former Post Office before. I’ll have to go back and take another look at that.
      A happy and healthy 2020 to you 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Sheree says:

    I love repurposed buildings and this one is magnificent.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Dymoon says:

    welcome back, hope your time away was happy, restful and ALL you wanted it to be..waves a cheery hello…. my link today

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Dan Antion says:

    This is such a happy story to kick off the new year, Norm. Not only was this a great idea, it looks like they planned it well and did an excellent job on the conversion (pun ok?). I hate to see any church torn down, but it also makes me sad when the reuse carved it up so you can’t see the interior. This is beautiful. Plus, a library! What a fantastic use!

    Great doors to welcome 2020. I hope you had a wonderful break. My first post is

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you Dan. I’ve seen a few conversions to condos done by developers in the city and the way they gut the interior is heartbreaking. A project that doesn’t totally strip an old church of its original vocation was too good to ignore.
      I hope you had great holidays 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. It’s early, and I’m up! I will come back later in the day to read everyone’s posts! Here’s mine to start off 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. scooj says:

    Doors are doors, and as you say, these are not too exciting, but the story about the rebirth of this building is magnificent, and what a beautiful library it has turned out to be. Thank you for sharing this one Norm – Happy 2020 to you too.

    Here is my first contribution of the new decade:

    Liked by 3 people

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