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Historic Canadian Church Sold to Condo Developers

Phil Hall
Dec 26, 2014

A 106-year-old church in Canada’s capital has been sold for $4 million to a development team that plans to turn the property into a condominium complex. According to a CBC report, the Archdiocese of Ottawa sold the former Saint-Charles Church in the city’s Vanier neighborhood to Modbox, a start-up company created by the joint forces of the architectural firm Linebox and the building/project management company Lake Partnership Inc. Linebox founder Andrew Reeves stated that the structure will be transformed into a mixed-used complex with 30 to 35 condo units and retail outlets and restaurants on the property.

Saint-Charles was built in 1908 and was home to Order of Jacques Cartier, a French-speaking “secret-society” created to curb the growth of the Freemason movement. For a century, the church served Ottawa’s French-speaking Catholic community, but it closed in 2010 amid dwindling congregational attendance. Yet maintenance costs required a $25,000 annual expenditure. The proceeds from the sale will be split between the archdiocese and two of the parishes that were served by the church.

In 2013, the vacant church received heritage designation—the Canadian equivalent of landmark preservation status—from Ottawa’s city government. Linebox’s Reeves offered his assurance that the church will not be obliterated in its upcoming reconfiguration.

“The plans are to respect and engage this amazing church,” he said. “We look at it as an opportunity to play with an existing structure ... as well as the established past it has.”

Published
Dec 26, 2014
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