A designated heritage building and a fixture in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood, Trinity-St. Paul’s is an anomaly. It is a receptacle for a baroque orchestra, chamber ensemble, spanish yoga, salsa, zouk dancing, zumba, and a Montessori daycare. Moreover, it is a church! In need of an enhanced performance space, we helped the church and the world-renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra restore and renovate its spaces, ensuring this 120-year-old plus beauty carries on with its obligations.
Tafelmusik and Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church
427 Bloor St W, Toronto, Canada
Project completed during Joey Giaimo’s tenure at ERA Architects
Trinity-St.Paul’s Centre is a designated heritage building and a significant fixture in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. For over 30 years, the church has been home to the world-renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. In need of an enhanced performance space, the orchestra decided that the church, with acoustical upgrades, was the ideal location. With the church in need of selective improvements, and a reimagining of both spaces, the projects for the restoration and renovation of the sanctuary/performance space and narthex/lobby was initiated.The project started during Joey Giaimo’s tenure at ERA, and Giaimo continues to provide consulting for the church. Recent projects include the development of a Building Condition Assessment and the restoration of exterior steps at the main entry.
Designed by Edmund Burke and Henry Langley and completed in 1889, the church is a stunning example of Romanesque Revival architecture in Toronto. All new interventions were intentionally sensitive to this architectural heritage and thus subtle, blending in with the existing finishes within the space. The conservation projects delivered acoustical improvements in addition to a new hardwood stage, orchestra level seating, improved comfortability for the balcony level pews, improvements to wheelchair accessibility, and safety equipment installation. New painting throughout refreshed the interior and took its cues from the original paint patterning. The renovation and reimagining of the space prioritize an efficient layout, allowing expanded functionality without requiring significant new construction additions.