York Urbanist


October 21st, 2011

Where? Markham, east of Highway 404, north of Sixteenth Avenue

What? This landmark is a draw as any traveler on Highway 404 will tell you. It is a church of epic proportions, whose style to the uninitiated seems styled on Russian church architecture. What disappointment the traveler experiences if diverted to Woodbine Avenue from their intended course.  The building is boarded and apparently in need of interior repairs, but to whose advantage. 

Why? It is a beautiful architectural style without a tenant. A whole community is growing up around it, with a demographic that transcends the needs for this Catholic Church.  The vacant land is a travesty of suburban sprawl. Little of the site ingratiates the visitor.

How is this an Urban Place to Detest? This monument to excess is reminiscent of the Cathedral de Chartres in France. Blessed by Pope John Paul II, this golden domed edifice remains unoccupied and chainlink fenced.  Will this become a town-owned property with ball fields and picnic pavilions?  Or will a new denomination replace the golden turrets with icons of another faith?  Time will tell.


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