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Shrine among the flowers in late evening


I was walking south on Dufferin Street towards St. Mary of the Angels, a Roman Catholic Church on the southeast corner of Davenport Road and Dufferin in Davenport, when I saw this shrine and these flowers.
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The Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal is a huge edifice towering over its neighbourhood. I had seen it looming over Vieux-Montréal, but it was only when I tried to take a photo of the entire building that I realized its size. I had to back up to the far side of the Place d'Armes just for a single shot of the entire building in my viewfinder.

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (1)


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (2)


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (3)


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (4)


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (5)
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  • blogTO notes the amazing spike upwards in temperatures for this weekend.

  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of some stark war memorials of the former Communist world.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on brown dwarf HIP 67537b.

  • The LRB Blog looks at Donald Trump's interest in a Middle Eastern peace settlement that looks as if it will badly disadvantage the isolated Palestinians.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen reflects on his reading of Julius Evola and other hitherto-marginal writers.

  • The NYRB Daily notes the potential health catastrophe that could result from Donald Trump's anti-vax positions.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer suggests that the corruption marking the relationship of France and Gabon over that country's oil is finding an echo in the Trump organization's involvement in Filipino real estate.

  • Torontoist calls for regulation of road salt on grounds of its toxicity.

  • Transit Toronto looks at the various scenarios for King Street.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia's economic growth will lag behind growth elsewhere for the foreseeable future, and looks at protest in St. Petersburg over the return of an old church to the Orthodox Church.

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The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is dominated, figuratively and to some extent literally, by the figure of Marguerite Bourgeoys, the 17th century migrant from France who came to the island of Montréal with her Grey Sisters to tend to the needs of the locals.

<center><a data-flickr-embed=" true"="true"" href="http://margueritebourgeoys.org/en/><U>Marguerite Bourgeoys</u></a>, the 17th century migrant from France who came to the island of Montréal with her Grey Sisters to tend to the needs of the locals.

<center><a data-flickr-embed=" title="Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (1)">Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (1)

Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (2)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (3)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (4)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (5)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (6)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (7)


Inside the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours (8)
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The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is a linchpin of Vieux-Montréal, the building proper dating back to 1771, European inhabitation going back another century, and millennia of history of First Nations inhabitation before this.

Towards Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montréal (1)


Towards Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montréal (2)


Towards Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Montréal (3)
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Bell tower of Saint-Sauveur, Hôpital Saint-Luc #montreal #montréal #hopitalsaintluc #chum #saintsauveur #church #architecture #ruesaintdenis #latergram


The bell tower of Montréal's demolished Saint-Sauveur was incorporated into the southeastern corner of the new Hôpital Saint-Luc complex on lower rue Saint-Denis.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
Spire of St. Jacques Cathedral, UQAM


The spire and transept of Montréal's Saint-Jacques Cathedral was incorporated in the 1970s into the architecture of UQAM's downtown Montréal campus.
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  • blogTO tries to pit the west side of Toronto against the east side.

  • Centauri Dreams describes an inventive plan to launch a probe to rendezvous with Proxima Centauri.

  • Crooked Timber looks at the idea of civil society in the age of Trump.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper that aims to explore why Neptune-class exoplanets are so common.

  • Marginal Revolution notes an interesting history of Singapore.

  • The New APPS Blog links to a report suggesting that big data may have created President Trump.

  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the latest plans for exploring Ceres.

  • Towleroad notes a rumoured plan to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination under Trump.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy has one take on Supreme Court obstructionism.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russians may accept pension reforms which will place the minimum age for qualifying for a pension for men above the average male life expectancy, and reports from St. Petersburg about a dispute over the ownership of a church.

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High Park-Alhambra United Church pre-condo (1)


When I walked west on Annette Street one January day back in 2014, I remembered seeing High Park-Alhambra United Church building on the southwest corner of High Park Avenue and Annette Street as an active place of worship, home to the High Park Korean United Church. Passing by the building one day this January, I found out that the building had been abandoned by its last congregation and put up for sale.

It’s hard to keep track of the number of Toronto churches that have been converted into living quarters in the past decade and it looks like another adaptation is coming to The Junction very soon. The former High Park-Alhambra United Church, located at 260 High Park Avenue at Annette, is on the market for $8,950,000.

This west end intersection is home to more than a few steeples and spires. The United Church property is part of a collection of vast, century-old churches: the former Victoria-Royce Presbyterian Church at 152 Annette St., built in 1885 and converted more recently into Victoria Lofts; the former Czechoslovakian Baptist Church at 200 Annette St., constructed in 1888 and converted into the Park Lofts; and St. Cecilia Catholic Church built in 1911 and still operating as a church.

Originally built in 1908 as a Methodist Church, the High Park-Alhambra United Church closed in 1996. The Methodists played a significant role in the Junction’s alcohol ban which kept the neighbourhood dry from 1904 to 1998.

Today, the site is roughly 1.05 acres in size while the church itself contains about 30,000-square feet of space. There’s a three-storey annex attached to the main structure, home to a gym, classroom and various meeting rooms.


High Park-Alhambra United Church pre-condo (2)


Since designated a heritage building, the current plans for the site by the condo developers who bought it seem to involves the transformation of the site into condos, keeping the architecturally and historically significant elements (the church proper) while tearing down the less noteworthy Sunday school annex.

High Park Korean United Church pre-condo (3)
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Sitting at 243 Perth Avenue at Wallace in the heart of the Junction Triangle are the Arch Lofts, a project aimed at converting a former church building into condos. This is the second project on that site, the Union Lofts project which began falling apart/u> amid contractor issues, as described in November 2016 by Tess Kalinowski in the Toronto Star. The Arch Lofts are slated to become open to buyers in mid-2017.

Arch Lofts (1)


Arch Lofts (2)


Arch Lofts (3)


Arch Lofts (4)


Arch Lofts (5)
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The Toronto Star's Noor Javed reports on how the Cathedral of Transfiguration, which gave the Markham town of Cathedraltown its name, is now finally open for worship. It's good that this building is finally going to be put to some use.

For residents of Cathedraltown, the news was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

After nearly a decade of seeing the towering Slovak Cathedral of Transfiguration in Markham closed to the public, local resident Mayrose Gregorios couldn’t believe it when she heard the news from two men doing cleanup work on the property one morning: the church would be open for weekend mass.

For as long as Gregorios had lived in Cathedraltown, a quiet subdivision near Major Mackenzie Dr., and Highway 404, whose name was inspired by the adjacent European-style cathedral, the empty building had cast a dark shadow on the community. The last service in the cathedral, which broke ground more than three decades ago, took place in 2006.

The reasons for the closure are believed to be twofold: The first, a decade-old dispute between the developer Helen Roman-Barber and the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada, over the title to the land, left the cathedral without a congregation.

But in recent years, Roman-Barber, head of King David Inc., told residents the cathedral, with its magnificent 14-storey bell towers and cupolas plated in 22-karat gold, was closed so that the numerous detailed mosaics planned for the inside could be completed. An anticipated deadline of December 2015, set by Roman-Barber in a Markham staff report, came and passed. Residents stopped hoping for good news.

So two weeks ago, Gregorios woke up early and waited for the 18-tonne bronze church bells, built at the prestigious Paccard Foundry in France, to ring and announce the momentous occasion. When she didn’t hear them toll that day, she walked over to the cathedral, saw people streaming in and joined them.

“They said it was a private mass, but couldn’t stop anyone who wanted to worship,” she said, adding there were about 200 people in attendance. “It was a beautiful moment: the mass, the singing, the spirit of it all,” said Gregorios, who said the mass was in Arabic and English.
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Grace Toronto Church, from the rear


After visiting Allan Gardens late Tuesday afternoon, I passed by the adjacent building of Grace Toronto Church, on the southeast corner of Jarvis and Carlton. The building was all aglow, warmly lit against the background of the descending night and the cold-looking towers.
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John Lorinc's article in the Friday edition of The Globe and Mail reports on how Toronto's multicultural history can be intriguingly layered.

Growing up in the 1960s in Chinatown in a flat above her parents’ silk shop, Jennie Norman had no idea about the buried history beneath the Toronto Chinese United Church (TCUC), on Chestnut Street south of Dundas, where she and her friends spent their free time at youth groups and fundraising bazaars.

The TCUC congregation, which served older Cantonese-speaking immigrants as well as second- or third-generation Chinese Canadians such as Ms. Norman, operated out of the church between 1955 and 1988, when the building was sold and demolished to make way for a parking lot.

Last year, however, the TCUC’s well-preserved foundations resurfaced during a massive archeological dig on the site, which is slated to become a $500-million provincial courthouse developed by Infrastructure Ontario (IO).

As archeologists have since revealed, the church traces its origins to a tiny wood-frame chapel founded on the site in the 1840s by five African-American men, some refugees from slavery. Named the British Methodist Episcopal Church in 1856 and rebuilt twice, it became the leading place of worship for Toronto’s black community. When the BME’s membership dwindled in the 1950s, the property was sold to the United Church to establish the city’s first Chinese congregation.

The TCUC, recalls Ms. Norman, a 66-year-old retired IT consultant, “certainly was a very important cultural centre for the Chinese population.” But, she adds, “I doubt if anyone in the congregation knew enough about the history.”
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A Google search for St. Columba Presbyterian Church, located in the unincorporated community of Marshfield to the immediate northeast of Charlottetown, brings up nothing but links to church directories and snippets from Google Books. I know of this church from my years as a cyclist on the Island, as this church and the hill it lies on was the furthest distance from home that I would ever bike.

The church's cemetery is lovely, peaceful despite its closeness to the St. Peter's Road. The monuments to past tragedies--a woman dead at 29, a couple buried next to each other, a monument to unnamed lost children--are in a good place.

St. Columba Presbyterian Church #pei #marshfield #stcolumba #presbyterian #church #latergram


Jane Helena Ferguson, age 29 #pei #marshfield #stcolumba #presbyterian #church #latergram


Sophia Goderey and George McLeod #pei #marshfield #stcolumba #presbyterian #church #latergram


George Stewart #pei #marshfield #stcolumba #presbyterian #church #latergram


Children of John and Margaret Robinson #pei #marshfield #stcolumba #presbyterian #church #latergram


At peace #pei #marshfield #stcolumba #presbyterian #church #latergram #cemetery
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In "Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral reopens to joyous applause after five year, $128M renovation", the National Post's Joseph Breen reports on the reopening of the central building of the Roman Catholic Church in Toronto. My theological and political issues with said church aside, this is an attractive building. It is good to see it back in use.

Fr. Michael Busch, rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto, was only making a little joke, about how people are always asking how much work it must be, renovating a huge downtown church all by yourself.

It was hardly an applause line, especially from a priest in a pulpit. But this was a midday Mass to thank the workers who spent five years shoring up the foundation of the 168-year-old centre of Upper Canadian Catholicism, bolstering the stone and brick with hidden steel, installing tiled floors and new statues, and painting the ceiling by hand.

Even after all the singing, backed by a brass band and a new Quebec-made organ, something about that reno joke sparked a contagious enthusiasm. It was the first chance for people to give thanks personally, rather than just hear Archbishop of Toronto Thomas Collins say it.

It started with one man in a worker’s jacket in the front row, rising to his feet and clapping.

Supportive applause rose gingerly from the pews. Some people around him stood up, too, but tentatively. Then the workers joined in together, and churchly decorum stood no chance.
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Moira Welsh's article in the Toronto Star describes how the congregation of United Church of Canada minister Gretta Vosper, whose church has recommended her removal from her position on account of her disbelief in core tenets of Christianity, remains loyal to her. I appreciate the congregation's loyalty, and think there may be much good in Vosper's arguments. I just question whether the United Church is the right place for it.

Jeanne Hamel has been a member of the United Church since its formation in Toronto, 91 years ago.

Today, as a longtime member of the West Hill United Church congregation in Scarborough, Hamel, 96, knows where her loyalties lie.

Hamel is sticking with Gretta Vosper, the United Church minister who was told by church leaders that she is “not suitable” because she calls herself an atheist and preaches about love without referring to Jesus Christ.

“Wherever Gretta goes, I go,” said Hamel, after the Sunday morning service. “My heart left the United Church when I heard they had rejected Gretta. I was stunned.”

About 200 people attended the service at West Hill, at Morningside Rd. and Kingston Rd., on Sunday morning — the first service since the church’s Toronto Conference Review Committee released a 39-page report last Wednesday on the minister’s non-traditional views.

“In our opinion, she is not suitable to continue in ordained ministry because she does not believe in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit,” the report stated.
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I'd blogged in January 2014 about Trinity United Church, the building at 220 Richmond Street (Richmond at Prince) housing a United Church of Canada Congregation that happens to be one of Canada's Historic Places.

From the west #pei #charlottetown #princestreet #trinityunitedchurch #latergram


From the north #pei #charlottetown #princestreet #trinityunitedchurch #latergram


Looking up #pei #charlottetown #princestreet #trinityunitedchurch #latergram


This church also happens to be the one I attended as a child. I was quite pleased to see this declaratio that Trinity United is an "affirming" congregation, an explicitly LGBT-friendly one.

An Affirming congregation #pei #charlottetown #princestreet #trinityunitedchurch #latergram #lgbt
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The Long River Presbyterian Church, built in 1874 on the western end of the Island's North Shore for a Scottish Presbyterian community, would have decayed into ruin if not for the chance of L.M. Montgomery having attended service there on numerous occasions, when she was with her family in the area. The church was moved to Avonlea Village, where it was eventually rebuilt.

In 2008, Teresa Wright wrote in The Guardian of Charlottetown about how this Church was going to be made into a theatre, for local drama and music. This new incarnation succeeded--there is currently a nightly music show scheduled--but I wonder what the church's founders would have thought of their sacred building's second life. Apparently, as one history placard I photographed recounts, the introduction of music to services was controversial.

Long River Church #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram


Welcome in cardboard #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram


These history placards introduce the church to visitors.

History, 1 #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram


History, 2 #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram


The wooden beams stand exposed, over the stage and above the pews.

Looking at the stage #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram


Looking up #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram


Looking up, 2 #pei #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #latergram

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