Canadian church conversions are on the increase.
It’s because of falling church attendance.
The U.S.-based Pew Research Centre says roughly one-in-four Canadian adults say they attend church at least once a month.
That data is for 2010.
And that figure represents a 16 percentage drop over 25 years.
According to the Quebec Religious Heritage Council, 547 churches in the province have been closed.
And they have either been sold or transformed.
The Quebec government even has taken the unusual step of allocating $15 million for restoring churches.
In Ontario, only 6,000 out of 12,000 religious properties still serve as places of worship.
And the conversion of churches are part of a world-wide trend.
All over the world churches have been converted into theatres, bookstores, condominimums, artist studios and yoga spaces.
Other church conversions have seen them turned into seniors’ housing complexes, condominium towers, daycares, concert halls and wedding event spaces.
Some have even been converted into residential homes.
In Detroit one church as been converted to a craft brewery.
Also converting churches often saves them from demolition.
But in cities with sky-high housing markets like Toronto, a number of defunct churches have been retrofitted into luxury residences, says urban geographer Jason Hackworth.
In a 2013 study, the University of Toronto professor found that 23 places of worship had been sold, gutted or torn down.
And with 10 more projects underway at the time, he assumes that number has since climbed.
He said these religious developments can pit a community’s conservationist instincts against the desires of church members.
Some would rather see church razed than stripped down to its artifice and turned into a “yuppie playground.”
And these conversions are quite something to behold..
It is amazing.
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