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Firefighters battling blaze at old church

Cause of fire unclear

At least 50 firefighters are trying to knock down a blaze at on old church on Dufferin St, south of Dupont St.

Flames were first reported at 3pm Friday at the building which is being converted to accommodate condos. It isn't clear what sparked the two-alarm blaze.

Dufferin is closed between Bloor and Dupont. Firefighters have been dousing the building with water from above.

Some nearby homes have been evacuated, though it isn't clear how many.

It does not appear that anyone was hurt.

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  1. Al Clarkson posted on 02/01/2014 07:47 AM
    The building is just over a century old--constructed as DUFFERIN STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, it started as a Mission in 1908, and this building constructed during the summer of 1912.
    This part of the city was initially working class and many were newcomers from the British Isles. Following WW II, demographics in the area, as well as mobility, meant that many neighbouring congregations and DSPC were in the same situation, declining, and looking to amalgamate or shared staff.
    In the early 1990s, Dufferin Street amalgamated with St. Paul's-Dovercourt, meeting south of Bloor at Hepbourne and Dovercourt beside Dufferin Grove Park, and the building was sold to a Baptist group, operating a ministry called H.O.P.E. that departed the building about 3-4 years ago. Since then, the sign appeared for the Sanctuary Lofts.
    Although gone from the community as a place of worship, the renewal of the heritage building as a residence has some merits. With the roof burned right off, and many of the large beams having been ignited (and despite constant hosing), are also badly damaged, it was sad to see this as an interested outsider to the scene, but obvious that it will be missed by many neighbours.
    Al Clarkson,
    Volunteer Site Liaison,
    National Presbyterian Museum,
    Toronto ON.
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