Church House packs up Jarvis Street offices

Published December 1, 2003

Construction on 80 Hayden St. began in 2002. The national office of the Anglican Church of Canada will move from its 600 Jarvis location next month.

People who use the shorthand phrase “600 Jarvis” to refer to the national church office in Toronto will be getting used to saying “80 Hayden” in a couple of months when General Synod and its 100 or so staff move half a block west to 80 Hayden Street.

The Anglican Church of Canada has maintained offices at the site on Jarvis Street since 1922, when the Missionary Society of the Church in Canada purchased an 1880s-vintage, three-story brick house at 604 Jarvis for $56,250.

In 1945, another 19th-century house, at 596 Jarvis, was purchased and the two were merged, renovated and expanded over the years to become the nondescript three-storey building at number 600 called “Church House.”

In January (as of mid-November, an exact date had not yet been fixed), the Anglican Book Centre and all the departments of Church House will pack up and move approximately the length of a parking lot to four floors and 40,000 square feet in a new condominium building. Most of the 17-storey tower will be residential condominiums, but General Synod negotiated office space in the building as a condition of the $3.65 million sale of 600 Jarvis, which closed in early 2002. (The total sale price of the property was $9 million, of which $5.35 million went to St. Paul ‘s Bloor Street , an Anglican church which abuts the property.) Developer Philmor Group Ltd. plans to demolish 600 Jarvis as part of the second phase of the development and erect a 21-story condo tower on the site. The sale of 600 Jarvis was revenue-neutral to General Synod, since the price was used to purchase the new facilities.

Treasurer Jim Cullen has estimated that operating costs will be lower in the new building, since 600 Jarvis has developed, over the years, an unpredictable heating and cooling system. “It’s the only building I know of where you have to run the air conditioning and heating system at the same time,” he said. In addition, 600 Jarvis is showing the wear of time, with leaky ceilings, bruised walls and access problems – such as the four steps up to the Anglican Journal offices and the boardroom. “The renovations to bring the facilities to modern standards would cost considerably more than to rebuild under this plan,” said Mr. Cullen.

Plans for the redevelopment of the national church offices have been underway for years. Negotiations on the condo development project began in the 1980s and a move was contemplated in the early 1990s, but recession stalled the construction industry.

The new General Synod address: 80 Hayden Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2. The main telephone number remains the same at 416-924-9199, as do all other phone and fax numbers. E-mail addresses also will not change. For information about the move, contact General Secretary Jim Boyles at ext. 280 ([email protected]) or or Mr. Cullen at ext. 338 ([email protected]) Information about the Anglican Book Centre may be obtained from general manager Dan Benson at ext. 226 or ([email protected]).


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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