Location: Toronto, ON
The New St. Paul’s Anglican Church is the fusion of what was once three separate buildings. The original, “Old Church”, building was built between 1857 and 1860. The second building, the “New Church”, was built over 3 years between 1901-1903 and originally seated over 2,000 people. This site is a historic landmark in Canada and has been the site of Canada’s largest Anglican Church since 1842. The third building, “Cody Hall” was dedicated in 1928 and has been a community and activity center for the parish containing an ‘oxford’ style auditorium, full gymnasium, two bowling alleys, as well as, meeting and class rooms.
At the time of the newest renovations, by architects Marie Black & Walter Moffat, the objectives of the church were; universal access, security and the physical connection of the three historic buildings: the Old Church, the New Church and Cody Hall. The internal refurbishment clarified and revealed a number of fine historical items, such as wood and truss ceilings, stained glass and stonework that were hidden for decades.
The Church’s stained glass windows had been damaged due to a lack of airflow. A consistent amount of airflow between panes of glass is vital to the durability and longevity of the glass. The outcome of irregular or insufficient airflow is the production of condensation between the glass which ultimately causes deterioration to the surface of the stained glass and lead came matrix.
EGD removed the original windows, which had been made and shipped from England only to find a secondary layer of glass which was added after installation. As the glass was made in Britain there was little knowledge or thought that the Southern sunlight in Canada would be stronger then in England, thus when the southern facing window was installed it was too bright and the painted details on the glass were lost. The secondary layer of glass was added after installation to darken the window and in this case was done poorly covered with putty. EGD reconstructed the secondary layer of glass and reinstalled the glass lites back into the building. Finally, a protective glazing system was added using titanium mesh screens, to protect the glass while allowing enough air flow to prevent future damage.
EGD played a vital role in the restoration and conservation of the stained glass on this project. All windows had been damaged and needed restoration. St. Paul’s is Canada largest Anglican Church and a historic and architectural gem, the restoration and conservation of the windows was essential to the renovation and shaped the St. Paul’s we all know today.