A Port Sydney, Ont., teenager has been charged with setting a fire in July that destroyed Christ Church, the oldest church in the Ontario vacationland of Muskoka.
The Port Sydney church burned to the ground on July 5 after a fire that was initially thought to have been caused by faulty wiring.
Ontario Provincial Police in Huntsville, Ont., say the 17-year-old youth is also being investigated in connection with fires at Knox United Church and Port Sydney Bible College, as well as vehicle and cottage fires.
Christ Church was built in 1873 of hand-hewn pine post and beam, with intricate craftsmanship in its pews and communion rail. The church, which sat on the shores of Mary Lake, was known as “the mother church of Northern Ontario.” It was insured and reconstruction plans include a facade closely resembling the old one, improved acoustics for the new sanctuary and choir area, wheel chair accessibility and washrooms on the ground floor.