In this week’s Dundas Star News: Knox Presbyterian Church, an architectural gem in the town’s heritage district, is for sale.
From Craig Campbell’s article:
Sale of the 147-year-old Knox Presbyterian Church, in the Cross-Melville Heritage District, is expected to move ahead carefully with the goal of finding an offer with plans that fit with the historic structure, surrounding heritage neighbourhood and goals of the church itself.
[Rev. Penny Garrison] said a detailed letter, explaining the decision and providing contact information for questions, was to be delivered on Friday, Dec. 10 to neighbours on Melville and Victoria streets between Cross and Sydenham.
The letter states offers will be weighed not only on financial merit but on “potential to be suitable to this very special neighbourhood.
“It is our sincere desire that new plans for the property be of benefit to the neighbourhood and the larger Dundas community,” it states.
Like St. Giles, the Presbyterian church property is zoned I1 / Neighbourhood Institutional, and would require rezoning to allow for non-institutional, multi-unit residential use:
In addition to being in the Cross-Melville Heritage District, Knox Presbyterian Church at 23 Melville Street is zoned Neighbourhood Institutional which permits a variety of uses — including a museum, day nursery, place of worship, emergency shelter, retirement home, residential care facility, duplex dwelling, semi-detached dwelling and single detached dwelling. The zoning sets specific requirements, including height limits, depending on the use, and a maximum capacity of 15 residents in a retirement home or residential care facility. A secondary school, college or university use is prohibited in the zoning.
Knox Presbyterian is listed with RE/MAX Real Estate for $2.5 million. (Dedicated website here.) The listing also includes the carriage house (22 Victoria St.) and 1855 manse (11 Melville St.).
Designated in 1990 as part of Dundas’ Cross-Melville Heritage Conservation District, Knox Presbyterian was designed by the Toronto firm of Smith & Gemmell in 1873. James Avon Smith and John Gemmell conceived their design for Knox Presbyterian at the same time as their plans for the Daniels Building (formerly Old Knox College), now home to the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
Smith & Gemmell went on to design Church of the Redeemer at Bloor and Avenue Road, College Street Presbyterian (at Bathurst; later United), and Zion Congregational Church near the MaRS district, since 1948 owned by the University of Toronto.
Dundas Star News print edition: “Knox Presbyterian Church listed for sale” (December 16, 2021, 3, 5) | online: “Dundas Knox Presbyterian Church listed for sale” (December 9, 2021)
Dundas Star News (est. 1883) is published by Hamilton Community News, a division of Metroland Media Group, and online by The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846), published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar.
Photos: RE/MAX and Craig Campbell.