From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Anglican national office concludes sale of Toronto property

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 14 Dec 2001 15:47:04 -0800

A n g l i c a n   N e w s   S e r v i c e
official press releases of the Anglican Church of Canada

Anglican national office concludes sale of Toronto property, plans new

Toronto, 14 December 2001 - The General Synod of the Anglican Church of
Canada today announced the completion of the sale of its property in
Toronto as part of a five-year plan, first announced in 1998, to provide
new headquarters for the church's national office.

The General Synod office site, located at 600 Jarvis Street, will be
redeveloped by a Toronto-based property company into a mixed-use
residential and office complex in two phases, with completion of Phase I, a
17-storey tower, projected for Fall 2003. The national office of Canada's
third-largest religious denomination will remain in its current building
until the first phase is completed, after which the present 3-storey brick
building will be demolished and the offices moved to four floors of the
adjacent new facility, located on nearby Hayden Street.

"We are pleased to have this unique opportunity to bring our facilities
up-to-date", said James Cullen, Treasurer of General Synod. "Our existing
property was acquired in 1922 and has been added to several times over the
years. The last major upgrade was in 1962 and the property is now in need
of major repairs. The renovations to bring the facilities to modern
standards for nearly 100 employees would cost considerably more than to
rebuild under this plan."

The General Synod property is part of a small parcel of desirable midtown
Toronto land with interlocking ownership by three parties: 1) General
Synod, 2) St. Paul's Anglican Church and 3) Crown Life Insurance. Sale
price for the property - disclosed in January 1999 when the deal was signed
- is $9 million, with General Synod netting $3.65 million. These funds are
committed to purchase a 40,000 square-foot office and retail facility when
Phase I of the new development is completed. The agreement also provides
for General Synod to relocate its Anglican Book Centre to the Phase II
building on Jarvis Street. Until completion of Phase I, General Synod will
hold in escrow an irrevocable letter of credit. Purchaser of the land and
developer of the new complex is Philmor Group Ltd., a Toronto developer
with a successful track record of residential and mixed-use projects.

Earlier this year, church officials predicted the General Synod could run
out of liquid assets and be forced to wind down by the end of 2001. This
pessimistic scenario was based on the huge financial drain - so far nearing
$5 million and continuing at a rate of more than $1 million a year  -
caused by residential schools litigation.

Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary of Synod, said this week the
forecast of insolvency for the Anglican national church has now been pushed
back into 2002. The reason, he said, is a slowdown in the rate of payments
required from earlier lawsuits and a small increase in voluntary donations
to the church during the current year. The church now has enough cash flow
- barring unexpected, new developments in the settlement of claims - to
continue operations through 2002.

"The outcome of the residential schools matter is far from resolved. We
still have a long way to go to reach an agreement on a just and fair
settlement process with the federal government," Archdeacon Boyles said.
"In spite of this uncertainty, it is in everyone's best interest that our
church continue to plan for the future. We believe the Church House
redevelopment project represents an important vision of hope that we will
be here to continue our work for years to come."


Tony Whittingham
  ext. 324;
416-738-8909 (cell) 

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