While many local churches and congregations are struggling amid the pandemic, Weston Park Baptist Church is looking to redevelop its west-end property with a mixed-use development.
The church has been located at 1871 Weston Road, in the Weston and Lawrence Avenue West area since the early 1900s and has occupied its current building since the late 1940s.
And now, the church has its eyes set on redeveloping the south-east corner of Weston and Lawrence that it calls home, which includes the Weston Park Baptist Church, its parking lot located next to the UP Express station, and the neighbouring "wedge-shaped" Scotiabank building.
The development lands at the corner of Weston and Lawrence/Weston Web
The development would be a joint partnership between Maple, On.-based developer Castlepoint Investments Inc. (Castlepoint Numa) and Weston Park Baptist Church, and would create a mixed-use development that would support the existing church spaces and programs while introducing a variety of new uses, including residential, commercial, and community and recreational uses.
The church and developer have been consulting with local residents, businesses, and the City since February of last year to discuss design ideas and receive feedback.
The church said in parallel with the community conservations being had, it's been actively working on the concept design for the 1871 and 1885 Weston redevelopment project and is currently incorporating the ideas and comments it has received throughout the project design process.
Weston Park congregation members at a 2020 meeting about the planned redevelopment.
Some of the ideas currently in play for the redevelopment proposed by the church include extending an invitation to the YMCA to operate out of the new development, which has been an idea for many years now.
Once designs are determined, the plan is to submit a Rezoning & Official Plan Amendment Application to the City in 2021, which would be proceeded by a Site Plan Approval application in 2022.
However, the submittal and approval process is a lengthy procedure, so it could still be some time until there are shovels in the ground. But until then, let's have some faith that this project gets approved.