Davisville Village residents are just a few dotted i’s and crossed t’s away from having a new park in front of Manor Road United Church.
While financial details have not been released, the city is expected to purchase approximately half of the church’s property at Manor Road East and Forman Avenue. That includes the green space in front of the east entrance and the Christian Education Building, which was built in the 1950s and would be demolished to make way for the park.
The 90-year-old sanctuary will be renovated and given upgrades such as a folding wall, accessibility ramp and modern video equipment so it accommodate a wider range of community activities.
Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow joined Reverend Debra Schneider before morning services on Sept. 13 to thank the Manor Road congregation for the opportunity.
“We’ve always tried to be a friendly face that’s open and welcoming to the community, and I think that having a park there will make us even more so,” Schneider said.
The foundation for the sale was laid in 2009, when the church developed a growth strategy to expand its congregation, which Schneider estimates is currently about 100 people, while reducing costs and remaining a community hub.
Schneider said discussions with the city began last June, and city council approved the purchase in May.
Since then, the remaining details have included discussions with the Manor Road Montessori School, which currently uses the Christian Education Building, and Caterpillar & Co., a private daycare that was chosen to become the sanctuary basement’s main tenant after renovations are completed in 2016.
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