Worship > Music > Organ History
Casavant Organ Opus 213 (1904)
The first organ in the church was installed by S.R. Warren & Son, a firm which operated out of Montreal and Toronto. By 1903, the state of this instrument was such that a committee was formed to raise funds for a new organ. In 1904, the parish hired Casavant Bros. of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec to install a two-manual (2 keyboards) organ. It was the first Casavant instrument in a Toronto church. The company, which was 25 years old at the time, went on to become one of the largest organ firms in North America, and currently the oldest organ company still operating under its original name.
According to Alan Jackson and James Bailey, authors of Organs of Toronto, the Casavant company’s move into the Toronto market signalled a turning point for organs in the city – “Here at last was an organ that would survive the winter cooking and summer humidity.” The Casavant 'tubular pneumatic action' organ was superior to previous ‘tracker’ organs built of air-dried local lumber, which were particularly susceptible to extremes in humidity as church heating became more efficient. Casavant, producing instruments for the dry cold of Quebec winters, used kiln-dried lumber.
This remarkable 100 year old instrument continues to be used every week to accompany parish worship, a claim that no other organ of its age in the city of Toronto can make.
The Choir Division was revoiced and new stops were added. In addition, the Swell, Great and Pedal Divisions were renovated with all pipes removed and washed, chests cleaned and all pipes revoiced, tuned and regulated.
The project was completed and the "new" organ heard for the first time at Sunday services on June 11, 2006.
With a major overhaul of the console, a computer now operates the communication between console and the rest of the instrument. This renovation revitalizes the way an organist can interact with the instrument, and allows for portability of the console to utilize the space in unique ways.
For a detailed specification of the newly cleaned and renovated organ, please click here.
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