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Heritage Restoration Project Archive - 2005 Project Updates
July 10, 2005
It's happening! Contracts for both the south face examination and the organ restoration have been signed. By mid-July we anticipate the cleaning of pipes in the Swell and Great divisions to begin, with work to be completed by the end of the summer. Dates for the South Face are still TBD. And watch for panels in the narthex to disappear over the summer too!
July 24, 2005
The cleaning of the organ's Swell Division is well underway, with completion anticipated by the end of July. The first phase of the narthex improvements will be limited to removal of the panels and a general clean-up this summer, which will not affect the organ. Should any future work at the back involve plaster dust or dirt floating in the air, the organ builder has assured us he can seal the organ to protect it. In the meantime, we will be enjoying better sound from our freshly cleaned instrument!
August 3, 2005 - Pictures!
During the month of July, cleaning of the Swell Division of the organ was 99% completed!
One day in the last week of July, all the panels were removed from the narthex, reclaiming a lot of space for the parish at the back of the church. Each panel weighed approximately 200 lbs. Once they were all down, they had to be carried out the front door, down the front steps, and along Bloor Street to a disposal bin - in the pouring rain!
August 21, 2005
In the latter half of August, we will start to see some action on the South Face. The Ventin Group will bring a “cherry-picker” to the church to assist in photographing and inventorying the stone work on the south face.
In September, the South Face Project Team will host two congregational meetings to invite feedback on proposed renovations to the front entrance of the church: Wednesday, September 14 (6:30 PM to 9 PM), and Saturday, September 17 (9:30 AM to noon). A follow-up, self-guided tour will also be available on Sunday, September 18.
September 20, 2005
Approximately 50 parishioners participated in input sessions on September 14 and 17. They looked at the church from across the street at different angles and observed our neighbourhood. Then they moved inside the church to look at the narthex and worship space. Those unable to attend these two sessions were invited to take a self-guided tour on September 18. A draft report compiling findings was delivered to the Advisory Board on September 20. The Board of Management will be briefed on September 27. When the final version is available, a summary will be provided here.
October 27, 2005 - Summary of Parish Input Sessions ("Charrettes")
The approximately 50 parishioners who participated that rainy Wednesday evening or sunny Saturday morning followed a scripted tour that took them to the four corners of Avenue Road and Bloor Street. Insightful questions prompted us to look at our building in the context of our surroundings. Would a stranger walking by know what we are all about? Does our exterior tell others that exciting things are happening inside our doors? Is our entrance welcoming or intimidating? Do we look like we belong more to Bloor Street or to Avenue Road? How do we appear at night? Are the steps comfortable to climb? Where does your eye fall in the breezeway just inside the Bloor Street entrance? How does the narthex with its dropped ceiling and differences in sound and lighting compare to the main part of the church? These and many other questions prompted lively discussion on both occasions.
Our distinctive architecture helps us to hold our own on our corner. The majority of feedback, however, suggested that a stranger could find us intimidating to approach. In fact, the face we present to our neighbours gives little indication of the vibrant community inside the building. Thoughtful and creative ideas from parishioners were included in a 13 page report the South Face Team presented to the Ventin Group late in September. Ventin’s mandate is to provide alternatives for a redesigned Bloor Street entrance and front steps. The informed input the parish has provided to the architects will enlighten them about the spirit of this place and our dreams for the future.
October 28, 2005 - Organ Restoration
Most of the organ cleaning is done! Casavant is awaiting delivery of the new pipe work for the Choir Division (expected in the spring of 2006) at which time the project will be completed.
October 30, 2005 - South Face Preliminary Report
Although the Ventin Group's detailed report is not anticipated until closer to year-end, they have provided the Boards with a preliminary update.
The South Face requires extensive repairs. Stones need to be replaced, mortar renewed, and waterproof flashings installed. Ventin also recommends rebuilding the bell tower, incorporating a steel frame to stiffen the tower and support the bell. Finally, the front steps must be replaced.
The final proposal will outline all work to be addressed, with cost estimates associated to each task. Also included will be two proposals for a redesigned front entrance, taking into account the input the parish provided during the September "Charrettes".
November 18, 2005
Prior to submitting their final report, the Ventin Group has provided the parish with photographic evidence of the deterioration of the south face.
When the Church of the Redeemer was built in the 1870s, two types of sandstone were used: a stone quarried in Port Credit, Ontario and a stone quarried in Ohio. The Port Credit stone was used for building blocks, and the Ohio stone for trim and capping. The Port Credit stone is softer than the Ohio stone and, where damaged, has deteriorated to a greater degree.
The south face has been repaired many times over the years. Eroded stones have been parged with cement, and missing mortar has been replaced with cement. By trapping water in the stone, the cement has contributed to the deterioration.
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