Major donation for adaptive reuse of St. Giles church

Exciting news: the Friends of St. Giles have announced a major donation towards adaptive reuse of St. Giles church. As spokesperson for the Friends, I liaised with media about the announcement.

News article by Teviah Moro, The Hamilton Spectator, with photo of 1912 church: "Heritage advocates tout $400K donation for St. Giles: Church built in 1912 has been subject of struggle over future use"

The Friends of St. Giles are incredibly grateful to the anonymous donor for their generosity, community focus, and creative thinking. You can read the Friends of St. Giles press release here.

From Teviah Moro’s article for The Hamilton Spectator:

Those behind a campaign to save St. Giles United Church from demolition and transform it into a community hub say they have secured a $400,000 donation for the cause.

The anonymous donor has offered the funds for the adaptive reuse of the shuttered church on Main Street East at Holton Avenue South, the Friends of St. Giles say.

St. Giles, which was built in 1912, has been the subject of a public struggle over its future with owners New Vision United Church planning to raze it to build housing on the property.

Sheehan said the $400,000 donation, which is expected to be held in trust, could be “multiplied” by tapping into programs that involve matching or top-up funds, for instance.

From The Bay Observer:

The Friends of St. Giles want to see community space at a revitalized, restored St. Giles church, one that can serve and enhance this east-central neighbourhood through a mix of cultural and social resources. They are excited that the anonymous donor shares this vision.

The organization is also in the process of incorporating as a not-for-profit. One of its goals will be to build on the $400,000 donation with additional fundraising, which would be earmarked for adaptive reuse of St. Giles for the community.

In a release the organization notes the list of successful church-to-community space conversions includes: Anishnabeg Outreach and Indwell’s St. Mark’s Place in Kitchener, Winnipeg’s Augustine Centre, the Grimsby Benevolent Fund Wellness Hub, the Glebe Community Centre in Ottawa, Good Shepherd’s Jeanne Scott Parent & Child Resource Centre (Hamilton), and Harmony Centre Owen Sound — the last 3 all housed in former United Churches.

St. Giles is located in Gibson-St. Clair, not far from Lincoln Alexander House and the St. Clair Heritage Conservation District.

Spectator print edition: “Heritage advocates tout $400K donation for St. Giles” (March 23, 2022, A6) | online: “$400K donation offered for Hamilton church facing demolition: heritage advocates” | The Bay Observer online: “Friends of St. Giles announce receiving a large donation, will form a not-for-profit” (March 21, 2022)

The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar. Published by John Best, The Bay Observer (est. 2008) serves Hamilton and Burlington.

Photos: John Rennison.

St. Giles Church (Stewart & Witton, 1912–13) seen from across Main St. E. in Hamilton’s Gibson-St. Clair neighbourhood. Photo: John Rennison.
St. Giles Church (Stewart & Witton, 1912–13) seen from across Main St. E. in Hamilton’s Gibson-St. Clair neighbourhood. Photo: John Rennison.

Spectator online | Toronto Star online | Bay Observer online | in print