Plans unveiled at the end of April proposed a major redevelopment to the Bloor Street United Church, located at the corner of Bloor and Huron Street. The renovation of this historic building is to include the construction of office space to house the headquarters of the United Church of Canada. The property behind the building will be developed into a 40-storey condominium tower and General Council offices. The new space will also be available for community activities such as choir practices and yoga classes.
The new building will be more accessible and environmentally-friendly than the current structure according to Michael Hilliard, chair of the church’s redevelopment committee. It is also expected to generate enough income from sales and rentals of condominiums to keep the church in operation. The plans for the renovation have been drawn up by B+H, a local architecture firm whose portfolio includes the ROM’s crystal addition.
A number of residents have voiced concerns about the scale of the renovations, including city councillor Adam Vaughan (Trinity-Spadina). Many are worried that the size of the condominiums will damage the local character of the area. Hilliard has assured residents that the plans are only preliminary and that the church is currently working with the community to create a design that appeals to everyone.
—With files from blogTO and The Toronto Star.