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Heritage Restoration Project Archive - 2005 Overview
Our Heritage - Redeemer's Birth and Re-Birth
The Church of the Redeemer has stood on the corner of Avenue Road and Bloor Street for more than one hundred and thirty years. By the late 1960s, our once strong and vibrant congregation was in decline, and in 1979, the parish was disestablished. A group of parishioners refused to let the parish die. Inspired by their leadership, the Redeemer flourished again, and in the early 1980s the building was renovated to meet the needs of a revitalized community. The roof was replaced. The narthex became a meeting area. Work was begun on the basement, where an office and a small conference room were created. As our community continued to grow, the need for more space became critical, and in the late 1990s a second renovation was undertaken. The main floor of the church was resurfaced and the basement was transformed from a vacant area with a sand floor to the attractive, multi-purpose space that serves us so well today.
Our Present - A Beacon at Bloor and Avenue Road
We face two immediate challenges. The south elevation of our building needs repair, and our historic Casavant organ needs to be restored.
We can't ring the church bell until the masonry supporting the bell is made good. We've patched our front steps for years. The steps are beyond repair now and must be replaced. The joints of the stonework need to be pointed - filled and finished again.
In 2004 we celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of our Casavant organ. The instrument is one of the finest in the city, and it may be the oldest Casavant in Toronto. The last major work on the organ was carried out in 1985. Many of the stops and keys are inoperative. To realize its potential once again, the organ needs to be cleaned and refurbished.
Our Future - A Lively Crossroads
Our building is the face we present to the world. The need for repairs to the south elevation presents an opportunity. An attractive, redesigned entrance will invite others into our community.
Music is a vital ministry at Redeemer. The organ is an important part of our heritage. Our restored Casavant will deepen our experience of worship and demonstrate our commitment to stewardship.
During our long history, our renovation projects have been farsighted. With this new project we move forward again, with God's help.
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