In the Press: Deciding the Fate of St. Giles

It’s been a busy week in the community effort to #SaveStGiles!

In this week’s latest media updates about the historic St. Giles church:

  • The Bay Observer and Spectator cover Tuesday’s dramatic Planning Committee meeting
  • St. Giles is featured on the six o’clock news on CHCH — plus an important correction
  • A Spectator weekend editorial + op-ed by longtime Hamilton resident Mary Haylock
How you can help #SaveStGiles
  • You can sign the petition to #SaveStGiles here
  • Write to your councillor before April 14th, and let them know you support adaptive re-use of St. Giles church, and want to save it from demolition.
The Bay Observer

Legendary Hamilton journalist Kathy Renwald has been following the developing story closely, and most recently wrote about the 11th-hour demolition permit application by the owners in the Bay Observer.

As Renwald wrote in her article:

“This information was revealed after a long list of delegates spoke in favour of saving St. Giles. Councillor Jason Farr questioned why, when both the United Church development arm and Rev. Ian Sloan of New Vision Church spoke to the planning committee this morning, they did not reveal their last minute demolition application.”

Renwald reached out to me for comment, as a Planning Committee delegate and active member of the Friends of St. Giles. Here’s what I had to say:

“Applying for a demolition permit the morning of the Planning Committee meeting doesn’t come across as acting in good faith. It felt like a real, deliberate blow to the community and all the work the Friends of St. Giles have been doing in the past few months. Once St. Giles is gone, it’s gone forever. It is irreplaceable, and that’s a huge responsibility.”

The Bay Observer online: “Surprise demo permit for St. Giles sneaks in under the wire” (Apr. 6, 2021)

The Hamilton Spectator, Part 1

Thanks to Teviah Moro for his story about St. Giles and efforts to save Stewart & Witton’s Neo-Gothic church at Main and Holton. Members of the Friends of St. Giles. delegated to Planning on April 6, 2021 (read earlier story). Moro’s story appeared at the front of the Spec’s Local section on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

Spectator print edition: “St. Giles demo permit application halted” (Apr. 8, 2021, A3) | online: “Demo permit application for more-than-century-old Hamilton church withdrawn” (Apr. 7, 2021)

Hamilton Planning Committee Meeting (April 6th, 2021)

You can watch the dramatic turn of events in the video of Tuesday’s Planning Committee meeting on YouTube.

CHCH Evening News

On Thursday, CHCH reporter Lisa Hepfner covered the developing story for the 6 o’clock news. Hepfner visited St. Giles and interviewed Coun. Nrinder Nann and Coun. Jason Farr for CHCH evening news (Apr. 8, 2021).

You can watch Hepfner’s coverage here:

An addendum to the CHCH story

One observation, and to offer a correction to comments made by Coun. Nann to Hepfner:

UPRC is in fact a multi-million dollar developer. Founded in Sept. 2020, UPRC has a $20-million line of credit from CMHC.

You can read the Broadview Magazine story about UPRC online here (December 2020 issue).

With more than 27,000 buildings, faith groups are the second largest real estate holders in Canada, behind only the federal government.

The Hamilton Spectator, Part 2

This weekend, there were two St. Giles stories in the Hamilton Spectator, including the Saturday editorial.

Editorial: “St Giles Church saga is a familiar conundrum” (Apr. 10, A15) | “Remembering the comforting messages of St. Giles Church” (Apr. 10, A17)

Publication Notes & Links

Published by John Best, The Bay Observer (est. 2008) serves Hamilton and Burlington. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar. Cable 14 is a local specialty channel serving the Hamilton and Haldimand communities since 1970.

Photos: Cathie Coward, Kathy Renwald

The Bay Observer online | Spectator online | in print