Evolving an iconic community asset in the Annex
Photo Credit: Judy-Ann Cazemier
Much more than just buildings used for worship, many churches have long-served their local communities as welcoming, expansive places where diverse groups of people can connect, learn, share and seek support.
The Walmer Road Baptist Church has done exactly this since 1889. It is a historic, architecturally significant landmark at the heart of the Annex, one of Toronto’s oldest and most iconic neighbourhoods. Its redevelopment presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to respond to this rich history while boldly expanding its role and uses for today and tomorrow.
We could not be more excited to get started. Our early plans include building a new home for the Walmer Road Baptist Church, repurposing the existing sanctuary for community uses and introducing a residential component. We are working closely with the church and its congregation and will be launching a community engagement process in February 2021. Since COVID-19 continues to impact our ability to gather, we are actively exploring creative ways to host collaborative project-related conversations in-person and/or online, and plan to facilitate related workshops this summer.
We are really looking forward to digging in, listening and learning about local community needs and aspirations – and integrating that thinking into project vision and design. We hope to collaborate and share ideas with partners from around the corner and across the globe. So if you have a suggestion, a question or just want to get involved – we want to hear from you. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In its beginnings, Walmer was characterized by openness—to different types of people, and to different ideas and projects.”
A Century for the City, Walmer Road Baptist Church 1889-1989 by Donald Goertz