Currently, Met’s sanctuary is the only accessible area. Ontario regulations, in the form of The Ontario Accessibilities Act, require the provision of full accessibility no later than 2022. In addition, Met’s general facilities are antiquated and cannot be used efficiently. In the building, nothing has been done since the completion of the lower-level Met Centre in 2005, and the result is failing HVAC and other items falling into disrepair while awaiting this renovation. Many of the improvements will reduce maintenance and service cost for years to come. As a general policy, it was determined some time ago that the physical building must be brought up to modern standards to ensure Metropolitan can continue to serve its community effectively in its third century. Most of the city’s prominent downtown churches, including St. Paul’s Bloor Street, St. Michael’s Cathedral, St. James’ Cathedral, and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, have undergone similar renovations, so this work is necessary to provide our congregation and visitors with a comparable space that suits needs for 50 to 100 years.
The contract stipulates a completion date of December 22nd, 2019, but we anticipate that this may go into 2020. We are scheduling complete occupancy for February 2020 to allow for furnishing installation and moving staff into their new facilities.
This work is a continuation of the lower-level renovations that created the Met Centre, referred to in the original plans as Phase Two. The architect for this phase was hired 3 years ago, as authorized by the Trustees and the Board, and the concepts were presented at the annual general meetings in 2016 and 2017.
The north-end work is being financed with trust funds that were designated to be used for capital purposes, plus a mortgage from the Toronto United Church Council for $3.5 million. The mortgage will be repaid from a designated amount of the annual parking revenue over the term of the mortgage. The terms of the mortgage are flexible, allowing for accelerated repayment if Metropolitan’s finances permit.
All staff have been relocated to offices in the east and west hallways in the lower level for 2019. Their exact location is on a plan at the foot of the stairs at the Met Centre entrance on the west side of the building. New security doors have been added on each side, and a staff listing will be posted on each door to indicate who is on each side.
Use the Met Centre entrance for all mid-week events or to visit staff. There is a buzzer next to the door for entry requests.
All fobs will be reviewed and have access adjusted where necessary to access the Met Centre doors and various common areas for volunteers and committee chairs.
Yes, but they will require more planning with staff ahead of time. The two main, small spaces are the Library and the Heritage Room. Larger spaces include the rear of the Sanctuary, the Narthex and the Met Centre. Metropolitan has licenced Zoom meeting technology, and it has been used successfully in the difficult weather. The use of this technology for meetings is encouraged, particularly for smaller groups.
Everything worth keeping has been stored on site. Regularly used items such as choir gowns and musical instruments have been located as best to suit choir and band needs. Beyond that, music has gone to the west transept, OOTC has been completely reorganized, and records have gone to what is known as the Compass Room in the lower level, just to provide a few examples. All groups have been accommodated with very good cooperation and patience. Staff should be able to assist in finding items.
No, it is not. The funds raised during the Capital Campaign (2019–2021) are not intended to contribute to this work. That campaign has three specific funding goals: restore the carillon for the next century refresh and improve the sanctuary where possible (paint, lighting, masonry repair); and restore the park, which serves not only Metropolitan but, in fact, the whole downtown.
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