Restore, Renew, Rejoice!

Revised Images

Following the presentation to the parish in June 2013 of the south Cliveden enclosure and the resulting positive feedback, a Request for Approval for the revised Restore, Renew, Rejoice! project was sent to the archdiocese. The archdiocese has given their approval for Larkin Architect to begin working on detailed drawings for the project. Over the next few months, the architect will be meeting regularly with the Building Committee to review and finalize the details of the different aspects of the project. The drawings will ultimately need to be presented to the Archdiocesan Building Committee for their approval, before any actual work can begin on the project.

We anticipate beginning our combined Capital Campaign (which will include our support of the archdiocesan campaign) early in 2014. We are hopeful that the renovations will begin in the spring/summer of 2014, and will be completed in time to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the parish in 2015!

The results of the Feasibility Study presented to our parishioners in January 2013 (link found in the timeline below) provided a positive approval mandate for the Restore, Renew, Rejoice! plans for the church. The mandate included the following major changes: a complete electrical upgrade; substantial lighting improvements; window and door repairs; organ cleaning and repairs; upgrades to the parish hall and a new elevator to replace the current lift.

The new accessible entrance on Cliveden, which included access to the new elevator, received only moderate approval, because there were aesthetic concerns as to how the enclosure changed the Bloor Street view of the church.

To address these concerns, revised plans were created and a new design for the accessible entrance was presented to parishioners in June 2013 (click here for images). This design moved the accessible entrance on Cliveden to the south doors of the church. The design was well received and feedback from the parish was positive. The new plan addressed the major concerns parishioners had expressed with the Cliveden north proposal and feedback supported the new design. The sources of feedback included: communications received at the parish office; verbal comments to building and parish advisory committee members; comment cards completed after the June presentation; emails and comments received through the parish website.

While the overall feedback was positive, some of the responses did include a few concerns and additional questions. Click here to view a recap of the feedback; and here for the responses from our parish committees.

Project Timeline

    • July-August: A 'Request for Approval' for the revised Restore, Renew, Rejoice! project was sent to the archdiocese following the positive feedback received for the Cliveden south entrance proposal. Permission was granted for the architect to begin detailed drawings for the planned work.
    • June: Feedback was requested as to whether this design responds to parishioner concerns identified in the Feasibility Study
    • June: Revised plans were presented to the parish community June 22/23
    • April-May: The Building Committee revisited the original design plans for the new accessible entrance on Cliveden and then worked with the architect to create a new design that responded to the concerns raised by parishioners through the Feasibility Study
    • March: The Building Committee reviewed the Building Assessment Report, the original Renovation Proposal and the results of the Feasibility Study.
    • February: Responding to a suggestion in the Feasibility Study Report, parishioners with professional expertise were requested to volunteer for a new Building Committee to assist with the Restore, Renew, Rejoice! Project. Click here for an introduction to the seven parishioners who stepped forward
    • January: Results of the Feasibility Study were presented to the PAC and then to parishioners. Click here for final report.
    • November-December: M & M International conducted the Parish Feasibility Study
    • October: Larkin Architect and M & M International presented the proposed plans to parishioners and the Parish Feasibility Study was announced. Click here for the revised Planning Study which provides details regarding the needs of both our parish and the archdiocese.
    • March: Plans were put on hold for a few months at the request of the archdiocese so as to incorporate our parish needs with the needs of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
    • December: M & M International was hired to conduct a Feasibility Study to obtain parishioner feedback on the proposed plans, and to gain a better understanding of the financial and volunteer support required for such a large project
    • Larkin Architect was hired to create a plan for the physical buildings to address the repair needs determined in the Building Assessment Report, as well as the upcoming physical needs of the parish buildings
    • PAC reviewed and discussed the report and requested bids from 3 archdiocese-approved architectural firms
    • A 'Building Assessment Report' was commissioned
    • Pastor's Advisory Committee (PAC) determined that a needs analysis must be done to assess current and upcoming physical needs of the parish buildings


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is glass being used for the enclosure and will it require significant amounts of ongoing maintenance?

    Approval from the city planning department is required for the new addition. When existing buildings are being added to, Heritage planners do not want the additions to try to look like the original building. They want the historic building to remain as it was originally built and the addition to be modern, yet complimentary. The transparency of the glass enables the existing building to be seen as it is. There are many types of glass available, and many options for coatings which can minimize cleaning, temperature issues and ultraviolet (UV) light penetration, etc. The Architect will conduct extensive research to choose the type of glass that will best suit the needs of the parish. The entranceway is not meant to be a habitable 'room', but rather a means to enter and exit the building more effectively while being protected from the elements. The air in the space will be heated and air conditioned but not to the extent of a space that is otherwise occupied for a longer period of time such as the church or the parish hall. A number of energy options are being considered.

  • Do you have to exit Bloor Street to use the washrooms in the hall below?

    Parishioners will have the option to access either the main floor washroom in the new southeast entranceway, or to use the new stairs and/or elevator to access the washrooms in the parish hall. Parishioners may also, if the weather is appropriate, exit the building either through the northeast doorway or the west doorway, and enter the hall through the exterior doors.

  • What is the revised cost for Option 3 (Cliveden south) compared to previous plan?

    The costing for the Cliveden south entranceway is comparable to that of the previous plan. The major difference between the plans is only in the location of the entranceway (to leave the front façade of the church unchanged). Although some aspects of the original plan have been removed (i.e. meeting rooms), the costing has been updated to more current levels, and there are added costs to change the landscape on the east side of the church in order to re-open the exterior northeast stairway to the parish hall and to provide street level access through the new entranceway.

  • What is the purpose of the courtyard and how practical is it with our weather?

    The courtyard is provided to ensure ease of space/access for drop-off and pick-up at the new accessible entrance, and to allow for parishioners to exit the church through the northeast doorway and then be able to also access the northeast exterior stairway to the parish hall. In addition, it will provide a safe outdoor meeting area for parishioners as they exit the church that is removed from the busy traffic along Bloor Street. Currently, the sidewalk in front of the church is often blocked after Sunday Masses, with parishioners visiting with each other. It will also serve as an outdoor liturgical gathering space.

  • How will this project be financed?

    According to our 'Request for Approval' to the archdiocese, we anticipate raising the full amount through a capital campaign. The funds that the parish has put on reserve with the archdiocese for emergencies will be used for bridge financing until pledged funds are collected. In the event that we need funds to complete the work and have not fully raised the required funds to complete all the work, we have the option to borrow money from the archdiocese. If there is a shortfall between expenses and pledges, the pastor, with advice from the building committee, the pastor's advisory committee and the parish finance council, will determine how to proceed at that time (i.e. leave parts of the project uncompleted, utilize a portion of our funds on deposit, take out an archdiocesan loan, etc.).

  • Why can we not just repair the existing lift?

    The existing lift is almost 25 years old and no longer meets the functional needs of the parish community. Beacuse it opens directly into the church, it stigmatizes users and does not reflect the inclusive invitation to worship that the parish desires. The cost of repair, extremely limited availability of parts, limited and poor functionality, and AODA legislative requirements all point to replacement versus repair. Last year, repairs last year totalling $1,500.00 were completed in order to correct an urgent safety concern. Since it has been determined that the lift is not sufficient for the current and future needs of the parish and does not meet current and upcoming accessibility guidelines, no further exploration of costs has been undertaken. The pastor's advisory committee agreed to provide ongoing safety repairs only, until a new elevator can be installed.

  • Why is the proposed elevator so big?

    The new accessibility rules and regulations that are being brought forward in the coming years are about more than the mere ability to physically navigate into & around a building. They deal with dignity of persons and go beyond mobility issues to also address challenges to sight, hearing, and more. The current lift does not allow for independent operation, it requires a key-bearer to continually press a button during operation, it does not allow families to enter the church together (it segregates those with physical disabilities), and cannot be used by anyone with even mild claustrophobia. In addition to providing accessibility in the 'full' sense of the word, the committee's mandate was also to improve the flow of parishioners into & out of the building and to the parish hall. It is important to be able to offer improved access to the parish hall, since the stairs in the Bloor vestibule must be eliminated as they don't meet current code requirements. The new elevator is not just for people with accessibility issues. It will assist in moving parishioners in and out of the building and between the church & the hall more efficiently. Also, we are very aware that a significant portion of our parishioners will have increased mobility issues in the coming years. The cost of a mid-size elevator versus a full-size elevator is not significant in relation to the entire project, so it is more prudent to plan for future. The size of the elevator was not chosen so that a casket could fit into it. It is anticipated that most caskets will still come in through the Bloor Street entrance, but use of the elevator will be an option. The Architect and Building Committee will conduct research to determine the most appropriate sizes for both the elevator and the stairs, to allow for the most efficient movement of people.

  • Will the elevator open directly into the church as the current lift does?

    The church elevator will open into a vestibule, to allow for more privacy and access to anyone needing to use the accessible washroom. This will also allow for more quiet entrance into the church itself. Each level opens into a foyer.

  • What kind of renovations will be made to the church hall?

    The church hall will have: a new accessible washroom at the hall level; a renewed east side entrance from Cliveden south, the re-opening of the existing, unused stairs at Cliveden north; increased storage for tables & chairs; improved lighting; ceilings & walls will receive new finishes and acoustics will be improved. All electrical wiring will also be upgraded to current code standards.

Photos by George Onuska