In the Spirit of Giving: The New Salvation Army Redevelopment

 

‘Tis the season to give back… Every year, during the holiday season, the Salvation Army plays an important role in helping those less fortunate. More than just a place of worship, the Salvation Army works hard to ensure that struggling families are supported throughout the holiday season via monetary, food, clothing and toy donations.

Metrolinx is also committed to positively supporting the community. Through its partnership with the United Way, the Community Benefits program and Business Support during construction, Metrolinx has proven to be a responsible corporate citizen. 

While both the Salvation Army and Metrolinx are doing their part to support the community, did you know that they have more in common than just giving back?

The revitalization at the intersection of Yonge & Eglinton for the Crosstown LRT will also mean the redevelopment of the Salvation Army North Toronto Community Church. Last summer, the Salvation Army building at Eglinton Ave. East & Cowbell Lane was demolished in order to include components of the Crosstown.

The new Salvation Army Church, pictured, will be four stories high

The idea to rebuild the church came from some innovative thinking. The Salvation Army Church was located in the perfect spot to house part of the Eglinton Crosstown due to its physical location at the end of the station, its size and the minimal surrounding property impacts. Slavek Strzemieczny, project manager at Metrolinx, noted that it was important to “recognize the importance of the Salvation Army’s presence in the community and the program requirements of both facilities. Metrolinx engaged with The Salvation Army in a joint-use redevelopment of the property.” In the end, a collective agreement was made to demolish the 65 year old Salvation Army building and have Metrolinx rebuild the church.

 

Interior Fellowship Hall 

Guests to the new church will enter via a street level lobby. A child services facility and music space will be situated in the building's basement. Levels two and three will include worship functions, offices, several classrooms, and a 260-seat sanctuary. The fourth floor will house the building's community service programmes, along with a Fellowship Hall and a kitchen.

260 seat interior sanctuary

The church has since been moved to a temporary location while construction is taking place. Construction of the new church is estimated to be completed for 2022.

During the holidays, it is not uncommon to see Salvation Army volunteers ringing their bells while standing guard over their Christmas kettles. With a $21-million fundraising goal for 2017, the organization aims to highlight the fact that “poverty isn’t always easy to see,” with one in 10 Canadians struggling to make ends meet. 

Meanwhile, Metrolinx encourages those who can to give back to the Salvation Army campaign. Monetary donations can be made in person to any kettle bell ringer or online via www.fillthekettle.com.