St. John's Presbyterian Church Toronto

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Long Range Planning Newsletter, April 3, 2016

Welcome to the Long Range Planning Committee’s first newsletter!

We hope to update you once a month in the bulletin, and will post each newsletter on the bulletin board in the coffee room.

At the last congregational meeting, someone asked about our historical designation.  We will post the City of Toronto Heritage Inventory document on the bulletin board for you, but here is an excerpt:

(dated April, 2009)  “The heritage attributes of St. John’s Presbyterian Church that are linked to its design and contextual value as a well-crafted example of Neo-Gothic styling that is a neighbourhood landmark are:

The scale, form and massing

The materials, with red brick cladding and brick, stone and wood detailing

The gable roof with brick chimneys that covers the main body of the church, and the hipped roofs on the tower and the bays adjoining the main (west) entrance

The square tower with corner buttresses, a multi-sided turret (northeast), and brick detailing

At the base of the tower, the main (west) entrance where pairs of doors and multi- paned transoms are placed in an oversized Tudor arch with brick detailing

The fenestration that combines pointed-arched and Tudor-arched window openings, many with stained glass, on the tower and the elevations of the church

The complementary Sunday School wing (east), which has flat-headed window openings and a secondary entry

The placement of the building on a corner lot where it is viewed from Broadview Avenue, Gerrard Street East, Simpson Avenue, and the adjoining residential neighbourhood.

 As you see, it’s a detailed list!  And a developer applying for a permit could trigger the City taking a second look at our historical significance, and specifying new restrictions.  That’s why we would choose a developer experienced with this process, who would work well with the Preservation Board and neighbours.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Long Range Planning Newsletter, May 15, 2016

Brainstorming

 This was our activity at our last LRP meeting. 

It is interesting to analyze how we use our space now and then look ahead to how what we do fits into a smaller more efficient space. In many ways we have been able to create programmes and offer meeting spaces for the community around us, because we had the space.

For example,  we have had the unique opportunity to have one room used exclusively for the Worship Centre for the Young Children and Worship programme.  We had the space that fit a perfect model of this programme, with a centre carpet, shelves around the room with a story in every basket, just the way the programme was designed. This was the envy of other Church Sunday Schools and our room has been used for YCW training workshops for people in the Toronto and surrounding area.

Our Sunday School programmes and requirements are always changing with the flux of numbers of children.  We are always adapting so the change into a new space will not be out of the ordinary.  However, it is also the opportunity to create a best scenario for those fluctuating Sunday School classes.

On one hand it is a loss, but on the other it really is a great opportunity to organize ourselves efficiently for the years ahead.  It is with this in mind that we take on other aspects of our programmes and mission here at St. John’s.

Having said this, we are not designing the new space.  We are trying our best to determine our real needs so that they can be explained well to the developers that will design the space.

We have found that this does take a lot of thinking, however. Ideas flow, we check the congregation’s surveys, chart paper lists are taped to walls, no idea is left unheard.   Coffee and treats often help in this process.

And so we continue and hope that by the end of May we will have a finished Request For Proposal document that includes this information and be ready for the next step of approvals from Session and committees of Presbyteries.

We will keep you posted.