Thursday Doors: Special Anniversary Edition

This is a special 1st anniversary edition of Thursday Doors hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.

Norm and I are posting a 2-part series on the Church of The Holy Trinity in downtown Toronto. Part 1 is Norm’s post on the outside of the church and it can be found *here*.

This is Part 2 featuring the inside of Holy Trinity.

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From the side entrance – on a snowy day in February

Holy Trinity is located behind Old City Hall, and much like Old City Hall, the church was saved from demolition by the petitions from its parishioners.  Now the downtown buildings surrounding Holy Trinity have virtually buried it from sight.

The church has tailored itself to support the homeless and those in need.  That includes an active outreach program for the LGBQT community.

It is quite an unusual little church, unlike any I’ve ever visited before.  On one hand, it is dark and somber-looking with the gravitas expected from a place of worship.

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I find churches a little intimidating so I guess it’s to be expected that I could feel the weight of its age and history.

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On the flip side however, it felt more like a community drop-in centre than a church.

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Instead of pews, there were tables and chairs in the main body of the church with many people milling around having various conversations.  I felt a little self-conscious taking photos and tried to respect their privacy.

I looked and felt rather out of place.

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Without exception though, every individual who met my eyes did so with a smile and a hello.

It seems everyone is welcome at the Church of The Holy Trinity – including a curious blogger.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Around Toronto, Photo Challenges, photography, Random Stuff, Things I Like, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Thursday Doors: Special Anniversary Edition

  1. Mrs. P says:

    How fun, sharing a post! Glad to see the church was saved though I’d bet those condo folks would still like to see it gone. Communities struggle to gain acceptance of churches doing what churches are supposed to do…help those in need.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Your comment about the condo developers is probably an accurate one. All the condo development that’s been going on is really troubling. This is not architecture at its best 😦

      Like

      • Mrs. P says:

        I so agree…that was the most disheartening thing about seeing the Florida coastline…I’d never seen such a thing. But, admittedly, the view from them is amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, great interior photos. Together with Norm’s photos we get a 3D view and history of this great church.

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  3. jesh stg says:

    The Gothic style of many of the churches in Holland attracted me to art history, as well as my love for stained glass. Superb! The door is beautiful as well!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I’m not sure that I understand exactly what Gothic style is, but I do like this lovely little church.
      I find the more I participate in Thursday Doors, the more interested I become in architecture 🙂

      Like

      • jesh stg says:

        It’s simpler than you think to recognize. The rounded arch is the Roman period, and after that came the Gothic period which is the bulk of the Middle Ages, approx.12-1500 where the top of an arch is not round, but is pointed upward. That made place for the Renaissance (rebirth of the Greek and Romans) where you see the horizontal lines below roofs and above windows and triangular lines in fronts of buildings. Those are the basic shapes, but there are all kinds of variants presently called neo-Roman, neo-Gothic, etc. Hope you can do something with this:)

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  4. What a wonderful way to “re-purpose” a church! Thank you for sharing pictures of such a special sanctuary for the community.

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  5. germac4 says:

    Very interesting church, and as someone has already commented, Christianity as it was intended..

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  6. Su Leslie says:

    Beautiful shots! And great to hear that the church is responding to real needs — Christianity as it’s intended I think.

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  7. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne I love the fact that the church is re-branding itslef. Throwing open those old doors and reaching out to all. I think it is fabulous that you are spreading the word of the great work they are doing. Not just a building but a community builder. Fabulous!

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  8. That building is as amazing on the inside as it is on the outside. Fabulous.

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  9. jan says:

    Sounds like a wonderful church! I can imagine taking pictures would feel a little odd! I’ve gotten some strange looks while out doorsing!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I certainly felt awkward, but it wasn’t because of anything anyone said or did. I just felt like I was intruding and I kept waiting for someone to ask me to leave.
      … but it never came 🙂

      Like

  10. Norm 2.0 says:

    The next time I’m there I will make a point of going in to check it out for myself. I’m sure glad you did, so that I could see what I missed – great shots. The stained glass and the open door with the bookcase on the right are my faves.
    Thanks for playing along with my crazy idea Joanne 🙂

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  11. joey says:

    First of all, let me commend you on your dedication to getting the photos 🙂 I appreciate that. It is sometimes odd, photographing the spaces of others. You’ve done a wonderful job here. I love the stained glass in a kind of take-my-breath-away way — outstanding architectural framework does not hurt one bit! Love the library doors, too!

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    • joannesisco says:

      That little library was such an unexpected sight in a church … but then again, it fit with this community-centre vibe I was getting.

      I was actually feeling a little shy about being all touristy in there with so many people around. I would have loved to have explored more – especially those wonderful stained glass windows!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A good case of working together to create such an interesting result. Well done. 🙂

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  13. Lynn says:

    So fun that Norm captured the outside & you the inside! Good teamwork!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a beautiful church. So much care put into it. I was even looking at the ceiling in one of your pictures with its curved beams and paintings (?). The mission is as beautiful as the space. 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      I agree! The huge cathedrals are majestic and awe-inspiring, but these old little churches have so much charm and simple beauty.

      It’s nice to know that these places exist for those who may have no where else to turn.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Well, nice that you felt welcome despite the whole intimidation factor. You got some nice arched doors there…a recurring theme for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. reocochran says:

    I really liked the milling around tables in Holy Trinity. To me, this reflects the true meaning of “communion” in outreach to members of the community! Lovely stained glass windows in this place of worship, Joanne.

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    • joannesisco says:

      The stained glass windows were very beautiful and if I remember correctly, each one was different.

      Whenever I visit a church, it’s normally very quiet and if anyone is talking, it’s done in whisper. This was very different – people were having real conversations with all the noise that comes with it. I liked it. It felt like a true meeting place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • reocochran says:

        I am glad to hear this, Joanne. Churches should be meeting places! 🙂
        I like that our library has quiet rooms and more open (not loud) places to talk or reccommend books to read or for kids to read out loud. Our church has two free meals a month and AA, Al-Anon and Scout meetings weekly or monthly; depending on who is congregating!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great tag-team post! The stained glass windows and rich wood are just gorgeous!

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  18. It would have been sinful to demolish such a magnificent piece of history. Wonderful it is helping those in need as it takes on a second life. Gorgeous pictures, Joanne. Thanks for the peek inside.
    We have a smaller church in my neighborhood whose second life is as a restaurant. Visited once but didn’t like the ambiance. 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      A restaurant in a converted church has so much potential! What a shame you didn’t like the ambiance. What didn’t you like?
      So often on our hikes we encountered little churches or schools that have been converted into a home. They are so charming … I’ve often wished I could take a peek inside.

      Like

  19. Tippy Gnu says:

    Beautiful building. I’m glad it was spared.

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  20. bikerchick57 says:

    “The church has tailored itself to support the homeless and those in need. That includes an active outreach program for the LGBQT community.”

    I absolutely love this with all my heart. I love a church that reaches out to the community and those in need. That’s the way it should be. Happy anniversary to Norm’s Thursday Doors and thanks for the two-parter. The church is beautiful, inside and out.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I had not researched this church until after I had been there. Quite frankly, I stumbled across the church by accident on a snowy day downtown.

      When I walked in and saw the Pride flag at the back of the church, I literally got goosebumps. This little church is clearly walking-the-talk ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  21. RuthsArc says:

    Love the idea of the dual post. Great idea. The inside looks quite bright considering that the church is surrounded by modern buildings. Cute doors too.

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    • joannesisco says:

      The church has beautiful stained glass windows all around the building. The inside was actually quite bright because of it … even though it was a very gray and snowy day.

      This dual post was a lot of fun to put together 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. A beautiful historic church that opens its doors to all is a wonderful thing. 🙂

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  23. Although our little church looks nothing at all like this, it’s welcoming and we love having visitors. I find it interesting that there are no pews. Do people sit at tables for the services? That’s very different. It sounds as though the people of this church are carrying out God’s work, which is what really makes a church a church. Thanks for the peek inside, Joanne.

    janet

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    • joannesisco says:

      I was curious about the services too.
      It was a cold mid-week day in winter when I visited this church so I will have to revisit to experience a Sunday service.

      I agree that this little church is really behaving the way one would hope a church would – especially in the inner city core where the need is high 🙂

      Like

  24. Just got back from Norm’s post. What a great story about this church. Just what they should be about.
    I love that last photo with the dark wooden doors and books. Looks like something out of Harry Potter. 🙂

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      It was such a fun idea to coodinate a post together. I’m flattered he asked 🙂

      … and you’re so right, churches should be re-purposing themselves to be more community oriented.
      I too loved that little hallway. The book shelves combined with the old battered arched door did not say ‘church’ to me at all!!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Whenever I’m in Toronto I slip quickly through the Eaton Centre, escape out the side entrance to the courtyard and visit the Church of the Holy Trinity. It is a place that inspires and gives us hope; a church that reaches out to those in need. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. A very special place and I think you captured it perfectly. It does seem to welcome whoever walks through its doors.

    Like

  27. Dan Antion says:

    Everyone should be welcome, I am glad to see that they are. So glad you guys teamed up. Almost every time I see a door, I think “I wonder what’s behind that…” This is a special treat!

    Like

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