2012 Anniversary Vignette #4
Building Chalmers Presbyterian Church – I
The 1907 Annual Report of Bank Street Presbyterian Church noted that increasing numbers of church members were residing at greater distances from the church. Other factors subsequently mentioned as threatening church attendance were the disruption caused by passing street cars and the limited seating capacity of the sanctuary. In response to this concern, the Managing Committee of Bank Street Church appointed a committee of six early in 1909 “to consider the question of securing another site”.
members of the Special Committee elected to locate a new site for the
Congregation of Bank Street Presbyterian Church [
The “Special Committee” moved expeditiously to fulfill its mandate:
- Two locations at the corner of Cooper and Kent Streets were selected but abandoned because of difficulty in securing options to buy from the owners.
- Options were placed on three
lots at the north-west corner of Cooper and O’Connor Streets and half of a
- The Managing Committee unanimously approved the proposal to purchase these 3 and a half lots at a total cost of $36,000 on 29 March 1909.
The plan to sell Bank Street
Presbyterian Church and to erect a new church at Cooper and O’Connor
approved at the May meeting of the Ottawa Presbytery.
In June, 1909, a mortgage of $45,000 was
arranged and the 3 and a half
lots were purchased. However,
for the next 2 and a half years there was no
substantial activity on the project.
There were two apparent reasons for this delay:
Possible merger with other
April 1909, Rev. J.H.
Turnbull reported to the Managing Committee that a joint meeting of the
Sessions of Knox and
in November 1911, the Bank Street Session and Managing Committee approved the idea in principle. In December 1911, there were joint meetings of representatives from the two churches. Descriptions of these meetings are not recorded, but on December 26, the Bank Street Session and Managing Committee passed a motion resolving “That we proceed no further in the matter at the present time” due to “differences in the point of view and opinion of the two … negotiating bodies”.
The prospects for a new church at Cooper and O’Connor were to improve dramatically in 1912, as will be described in Vignette #5.