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Church that’s stood since the days of Sir John A. Macdonald faces demolition

March 2021

A church in the small Town of Angus, Ontario, which is almost as old as Canada itself, is facing demolition to make way for a proposed 26 -unit townhouse development.

Zion Presbyterian Church at 14 Margaret Street, which held its final service on 30 September 2018, was bought by Wynstar Developments in April 2019, along with the adjoining property at 18 Margaret Street, which currently has just a small shed.

If the proposed development is approved by Essa Township Council, the church, which was built in 1868, will be demolished.

Residents of the small community have started a community group, “We The People of Essa,” and have started a petition on Change.org, with the hope of convincing Council and the Wynstar Developments to preserve the church. Their hope is that it can be used as an arts and cultural space.

It’s currently being used by The Lighthouse, a community group that hosts yoga, music, and children’s activities.

Both lots will need to be rezoned as high-density residential before the development can proceed. While the church is not currently protected under the Ontario Heritage Act, residents are hoping to convince Essa Council to preserve the church as a significant part of Angus’s heritage.

Sources: Community rallying to rescue historic church in Angus – BarrieToday.com, Church Closing on September 17,2018 | Toronto.com, .

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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