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.
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.
I was very much excited to go inside to see how they handled the conversion where it would be most noticeable.
I was not disappointed with what I found.
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.
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.