Wexford Heights United Church redevelopment plan
We know about the NIMBY, "not in my back yard" acronym and the connotation of keeping something or someone away from what we hope to guard or maintain. I thought this CBC headline from a month ago was clever
'Yes, In God's Backyard': Affordable housing proposed on site of Scarborough church
A new development company associated with the United Church of Canada is trying to breathe new life into a Scarborough church that officially closed in 2019 — by building affordable housing on the site while keeping some of its gathering spaces alive.
Kindred Works wants to build an 11-storey tower and two rows of townhouses —100 mixed-income rental units in all — while retaining the cemetery and community spaces on the former site of Wexford Heights United Church, located at 2102 Lawrence Ave. E.
"We need housing now," said Tim Blair, CEO of Kindred Works.The United Church believes that housing is a fundamental human right, Blair says "so this certainly fits into the overall mission of the church."
It's all part of a growing continent-wide movement to build affordable housing on re-purposed church lands that some call YIGBY, which means "Yes, In God's Backyard" — a not-so-subtle dig at NIMBY, which stands for "Not In My Backyard."
We've seen some of the hundreds, if not thousands of Canadian places of worship which now serve other purposes, everything from conversions to homes or boutiquesin the country to fronts for condos in larger centres. One of the church structures of the five-point charge I served in outport Newfoundland became a vehicle repair shop for a time.
I hope Kindred Works is very successful. There are so many congregations which sadly died of COVID during the pandemic. A purposeful resurrection of sorts for their buildings sure seems consistent with the gospel.
Current Wexford Heights UC building