Skip to Main Content
Community Readiness

Symposium 2018

607C: The Future & Economics of of Historic Church Buildings in Ontario

October 12, 2018

12:30pm - 12:45pm

With an estimated 27,000 historic churches across Canada closing in the next decade, it’s imperative that planners consider the financial and cultural impacts this has, and will have, on their local community. The dollar value that an active place of worship provides to the local community - through social services rendered, space-sharing with other community groups, etc - has been documented by the Halo Project. This 2016 study by McMaster University calculated that for every dollar a religious congregation spends, the municipality gets $4.77 worth of common good services. However, while there are many planning tools are designed to conserve the physical buildings, and very few designed to support the building’s evolution; evolution which could allow for new revenue streams that would maintain the congregation’s full or partial ownership of the property. The presentation will show how different planning tools support, or inhibit, the conservation of historic churches including the Ontario Heritage Act, Official Plans, and Community Improvement Plans.