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  • Hamilton's Christ Church is striving for continued viability, in part through selling off vacant land for condos. Global News reports.

  • Edmonton's Accidental Beach, a byproduct of construction berms on the North Saskatchewan River, has gone viral. Global News reports.

  • Meagan Campbell of MacLean's looks at how the refugee crisis did, and did not, effect the garlic festival of border city Cornwall.

  • The successful integration of a Syrian refugee family of chocolatiers in the Nova Scotia town of Antigonish is nice. The Toronto Star carries the story.

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The interior of the Long River Presbyterian Church, relocated to Avonlea Village and now a place not of worship but of music and theatre, is sparse and evocative. I just wonder what the church's builders,
a congregation divided over the controversial issue of allowing music in service, would think of its use now.

Long River Church, interior (1) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #architecture

Long River Church, interior (2) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #architecture

Long River Church, interior (3) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #architecture

Long River Church, interior (4) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #architecture

Long River Church, interior (5) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #architecture
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Church of the Holy Name #toronto #thedanforth #danforthavenue #goughave #churchoftheholyname #evening #greektown

The Church of the Holy Name stands out on the Danforth now as much as it did when it was built just over a century ago.
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I posted last August about how the old Long River Presbyterian Church, dating from the late 19th century and at risk of decay, was relocated to Cavendish's Avonlea Village where it was eventually rebuilt into a theatre. It's still there, looking handsome in its new home.

Long River Church, exterior (1) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #churches

Long River Church, exterior (2) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #churches

Long River Church, exterior (3) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #churches

Long River Church, exterior (4) #pei #princeedwardisland #cavendish #avonleavillage #longriverchurch #churches
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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.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
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)
rfmcdonald: (photo)
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)
rfmcdonald: (photo)
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.

rfmcdonald: (photo)
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.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
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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