Durham Region has seen quite the active weather recently. The windy conditions mixed with aging infrastructure has done quite the number on Simcoe Street United Church, one of Oshawa’s oldest structures. The church is now looking for help in restoring the heritage building.
“This building has a long and rich history,” said Rev. David Moore of Simcoe Street United Church.
Simcoe Street United Church is where Moore has spent his Sundays for more than 20 years. He came in at a time when the church was transitioning into a city centre place to worship.
“It predates everything else in the downtown and as long as there’s been Oshawa, there’s been this building,” said Moore. “This church from its very beginning has been the centre of the community. It’s way more than just the congregation.”
But recently, the time he’s spent at the church hasn’t been only in front of his congregation but also monitoring storm damage.
“You can see some of the rust spots on the tin ceiling,” said Moore. “It was like snowing shingles that day on the fourth of April.”
It’s been a full-time job for Moore, thanks to the recent wind- and ice-storms.
Simcoe Street United Church is 150 years old. It has seen better days. Moore expects all the repairs, inside and out to cost close to $2 million.
“The congregation was a lot bigger 30 to 40 years ago than it is now and just to keep up a building like this historic 150-year-old structure, it’s incredibly expensive, but you can’t build things like this anymore,” said Moore.
Moore is looking for a long-term fix repair job. He’s hoping the church will be around for another 150 years but in order to restore the historic site, it’s going to take more than just the congregation.
“We’re looking for probably little pieces from a lot of sources rather than one big grant that’s going to cover the whole thing,” said Moore.
But for now, Moore is praying for nice weather as they continue to pick up the pieces and move forward.