Faith. Justice. Community. Respect. These are the cornerstones of Bloor Street United Church, a congregation that has been welcoming people of all backgrounds to the Annex for 130 years. Today, the church has joined Northrop Development Corporation and Collecdev Inc. to collaborate on 300 Bloor Street West, a development that will not only enrich the already-vibrant neighbourhood, but will ensure the future of BSUC for the next 100+ years.
When Bloor Street United Church first opened its doors in 1889, Bloor Street marked the northwestern limit of the city – quite a change from the main east-west corridor it is today. But the founders, many of whom were professors from nearby Knox College (today part of the University of Toronto), were confident that the community would grow. They were right. Over the next several decades, thousands of new residents settled in the neighbourhood, and many of them came looking for a church within walking distance of home.
From its early days, the church has always been a safe haven for people of all different walks of life; all genders, sexualities, races, and backgrounds are welcomed within the stone walls. And the site development won’t change that. If anything, the mission of 300 Bloor Street West is aligned with that of BSUC:
To build a community where everyone can contribute and grow.
The church will continue to anchor the community. Its historic character will remain unchanged, preserving and integrating the existing heritage architecture with new contemporary design. Fully renovated and accessible facilities will provide even greater opportunities to nurture and support the community through in-house and outreach activities like the Social Justice Committee, the Community Café, the Refugee Outreach Program, Jeremiah’s Field loan program, the Sunday School, the esteemed music program, young adult programs, film clubs, and more. As part of the development, the church will receive flexible new worship space designed to accommodate multi-faith programming, and approximately 40,000 square feet of rentable commercial space in the new building, an investment that will sustain it for decades to come.
Times have changed since 1889, but one thing holds true – people are still in search of ways to engage, socialize, explore their faith, find meaning, and serve their community, all close to where they call home. Together, 300 Bloor Street West and Bloor Street United Church will continue to make that possible.
Check out this video on the history of Bloor Street United Church and contact us to sign up for our newsletter to see what the future holds.