A few developers approached us and offered to buy out our property. We considered our options, such as buying an existing church building elsewhere in the city or purchasing a new property and building a new facility. However, a buyout would not have provided sufficient funds for the congregation to re-locate within the Toronto city limits. We also determined that we wished to retain our central location—we are ideally situated with a subway stop and major highway nearby. So, we decided it was best to work with a developer who would build us a new church building as part of a redevelopment of our property and an adjacent property. We documented a single-page of summary conditions for cooperation, and developed a set of detailed specifications for a new building—which we completed in 2006. When developers approached us, we supplied them with our summary conditions. If they agreed that they could meet these, we then gave them the detailed specifications. Eventually, Liberty Development Corp. was able to put together a proposed project. After about two years of negotiation with them we signed a purchase agreement, in June of 2010.
We began working with an architect, who had been commissioned by Liberty to design our new church building within the context of the overall re-development of our property and the one to the west. We reached agreement on the floor plans for the new building in 2012, while liberty pursued approval of the project from the city. The city required extensive re-working of the plans for the condominium development and some modifications to the church building plans. By mid-2014, Liberty had obtained tentative approval from the city and we resumed working with the architect to take the plans to the next level of detail—including production of finishing schedules, a design rendering, and a computer-based model for the acoustics for the proposed sanctuary.
In April, 2015 we signed-off on the transfer of title to our property (title for the portion of the land containing the new church building will be transferred back to the Trustees of the congregation upon completion of construction). Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015.