RENOVATIONS TO CHURCH AND RECTORY
frame work beginning
The present St. Mary’s Church has a history that dates back to 1859, when on Christmas day of that year, Holy Mass was celebrated for the first time. The church was thirty-five feet shorter then, and did not have a spire or vestry. Inside the church there was a choir loft, and galleries that extended down both sides of the Nave. The spire was added in 1890, and the worship space was enlarged in 1894 to its current size. Other changes made to the church include the addition of a new boiler room, and the removal of the interior galleries. In 1996, a new barrier free access and washroom were built on the west side of the church. Changes made to the main entry steps were completed in 1999. A new roof has also been added within the last couple of years, and at the beginning of this year, the boiler was replaced as part of an insurance claim.
Based upon visual inspection over several site visits, discussions with staff, and a review of church records, it appears that in addition to the above changes, other maintenance related repairs, upgrades, and restoration work have been undertaken over the years. Subsequently, the church is in relatively good condition for a building of its vintage. However, during our review, we identified some items that will require attention as financial resources become available. These include some life safety issues, restoration and/or repairs to masonry, window frames, roof fascias and soffits, painting, and the first floor wood structure. In addition, layout changes that reflect programme needs for the parish have also been addressed. Notwithstanding any initial investment in capital expenditure, it will also be necessary to implement an ongoing, regularly scheduled maintenance programme to ensure that the church will continue to serve the needs of the parish over the long term. We have appended a copy of the Archdiocese of Toronto Church Maintenance Guidelines and Guideline Checklist to assist you in establishing a maintenance schedule to suit the particular needs of your physical plant and site.
This report offers a review of existing conditions for the church only and provides recommendations for remedial action where appropriate. Observations are based upon visual investigations only, completed by Larkin Architect Limited without the assistance of destructive testing/investigations and, without the assistance of mechanical, or electrical consultants. This report does not constitute a Life Safety Study under the Fire Marshal’s Act, Fire Code (R.R.O 1990, Reg. 454).
With the exception of improvements to life safety in the church, which should be addressed immediately, much of the remaining work identified can be addressed with a phased implementation programme. We have preliminary budget amounts for each identified item and listed them in order of priority. After life safety issues, problems associated with the integrity of the building envelope should be addressed next, followed by improvements to critical interior systems and finishes, with final consideration given to discretionary items. In all cases, the safety and well being of the staff and parishioners is paramount. We fully expect that priorities will evolve to suit the financial resources available at any one time following additional discussion and input from the building committee. Election to proceed with any of the identified work may require the involvement of specialty consultants and/or contractors in order to refine the scope and corresponding budgets.
Larkin Architect Limited remains committed to working with the parish building committee to further refine identified needs and provide cost effective solutions for their implementation.