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Friends of St Giles announce  receiving a large donation, will form a not-for-profit

Friends of St Giles announce  receiving a large donation, will form a not-for-profit

The Friends of St. Giles say a major donation has been committed towards transforming the century-old St. Giles church into a community hub.

The donor, a Ward 3 resident who wishes to remain anonymous, is offering $400,000 towards adaptive reuse of the long-vacant heritage building

Said Dr. Sarah Sheehan, a founding member of and spokesperson for the Friends of St. Giles, this donation shows that keeping St. Giles standing is not only possible, but members of the community are willing to donate to make it a reality.”

The Friends of St. Giles want to see community space at a revitalized, restored St. Giles church, one that can serve and enhance this east-central neighbourhood through a mix of cultural and social resources. We are excited that the anonymous donor shares this vision.

The organization is also in the process of incorporating as a not-for-profit. One of its goals will be to build on the $400,000 donation with additional fundraising, which would be earmarked for adaptive reuse of St. Giles for the community.

In a release the organization notes the list of successful church-to-community space conversions includes: Anishnabeg Outreach and Indwell’s St. Mark’s Place in Kitchener, Winnipeg’s Augustine Centre, the Grimsby Benevolent Fund Wellness Hub, the Glebe Community Centre in Ottawa, Good Shepherd’s Jeanne Scott Parent & Child Resource Centre (Hamilton), and Harmony Centre Owen Sound — the last 3 are all housed in former United Churches.

The donor approached the Friends of St. Giles’ Dr. Sheehan in early May of last year, a few weeks after Hamilton City Council voted to defer heritage designation of St. Giles.

The Friends informed Councillor Nann of the anonymous donation in June 2021. She has opposed granting a heritage designation for the site, favoring instead the plan to demolish the building and replace it with a development that would include affordable housing.

To learn more about the Friends of St. Giles, visit:

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