The National Presbyterian Museum will close temporarily on Monday, October 1, 2018.
The closure is necessitated by the redevelopment of St. John’s Presbyterian Church, located at 415 Broadview Avenue in Toronto, where the museum has been located since 2002. The congregation is planning a significant redevelopment of its building and the Museum is now in the process of moving to an alternative site.
Museum volunteer Angus Sutherland observed, “We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with St. John’s for the past 16 years ever since the church allowed the Museum the use of nearly its entire basement.”
The closure will allow time for Ian Mason, member of the Advisory Committee responsible for curatorial and administrative work since July 2009, to carefully pack and inventory the collection in advance of the move. The Advisory Committee is pursuing a strong lead that would relocate the Museum to southern Ontario.
The Committee had hoped to move the Museum’s collection directly from St. John’s Church to the new location. However, the process to locate an affordable site that provides approximately 2,000 sq. ft. for gallery and storage has required more time than the Committee had anticipated.
The first stage of the plan is to obtain final approvals so that the facility can be acquired and renovated to provide the proper environmental controls. In the meantime, the work of acquiring and cataloguing incoming artefacts will continue. Research enquiries will be answered as much as possible.
Marilyn Repchuck, retiring Convener of the Committee on History to which the Museum Advisory Committee reports, is the newest member. Marilyn acknowledged that her interest in joining the Museum Committee is to “make sure that this treasure of the church is preserved for and promoted throughout The Presbyterian Church in Canada.”
Members of the Museum Advisory Committee are continuing with the vision of the late Dr. John Johnston, founding Curator, to offer The Presbyterian Church in Canada a resource that enables not only Presbyterians, but anyone, the opportunity to learn about the rich heritage of those who followed Jesus Christ and adopted Presbyterian theology in the expression of their faith.