The new national office is part of a 21-storey condominium tower.
After a move marked by initial chaos — some staff had no power and no workstations — and confusion (not knowing where to find offices in the labyrinthine layout), national staff of the Anglican Church of Canada have settled into the new office at 80 Hayden St., just one city block from their former address at 600 Jarvis St., Toronto.
After several delays, the staff moved the weekend of June 19-20, only to find that work had not been completed in the new building: most offices lacked fixtures, the washrooms had water but no partitions between toilets, there were gaping holes in some workstations, and workers were still installing some cubicles. Some staff could not find their moving boxes while others discovered that furniture from their old offices would not fit into much smaller work areas. Others took awhile to adjust to small cubicles instead of offices with doors and windows.
As of mid-August, work was still interrupted by occasional drilling and last-minute wall and electrical touch-ups.
“The move was not as easy and simple as we expected,” said General Secretary Archdeacon Jim Boyles. “The building was not finished and ready. It took much longer than we’d hoped.”
Asked why staff moved into an unfinished building, he said, “The original plan was for us to move last September 2003 and further delays were intolerable.” He said that by then all necessary city inspections had been completed and the building was declared safe for occupancy.
Anglican Book Centre (ABC), the national church’s retailer of books and religious materials, suffered the worst delay, as its space was the least complete after the move. ABC, which is now located in the basement, opened its doors to the public July 5.
A new and much bigger chapel located on the ground floor is expected to be ready this month.
Inconveniences and disruptions aside, some offices managed to become fully operational in less than a week.
The new General Synod offices are housed in the first four floors of a 21-storey building; the rest of the 17 storeys are privately-owned condominium apartments.
The old Church House building is scheduled to be demolished, and in its place the developer, Philmor Group Ltd., plans to build condominium and office towers. Negotiations for the sale of this property began as early as 1999. General Synod officials negotiated office space at 80 Hayden as a condition of the $3.65 million sale in 2002 of the Jarvis Street building. 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.
“We’re inviting people to come and see the new space,” said Mr. Boyles. “Hayden Street is not easy to find and so we’re working on signage and hope that Anglicans will find us. We’re right behind St. Paul ‘s, Bloor.”
The new address is 80 Hayden St. , Toronto , ON M4Y 3G2 . Phone, fax numbers and e-mail addresses for national church office departments and staff remain the same.