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Old Ottawa South Community Association

Photo by Marion Haas.
Photo by Marion Haas.

Jesus Take the Wheel

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Neighbourhood dismay this week to see a clean-up crew arrive without warning to empty Saint Margaret Mary Church at the corner of Sunnyside Ave and Fairbairn St.

Neighbours were shocked to see religious artifacts, usable tables, chairs, and housefold items dropped into newly installed dumpster at the former St. Margaret Mary Church and rectory. Marion Haas, who lives doors away, said she was "astounded and stunned" by these actions. "Why was there no attempt to salvage and share these useful items when many people and communities are in need?" she asked.

The neighbourhood Facebook page quickly filled with reactions to the posting of a picture showing a five foot, fully intact sculpture of Jesus, tossed into the dumpster with the other refuse. "It's unbelievable" said Ms. Haas questioning the kind of decision making and style of community engagement that would prompt the Catholic Archdiocese to act in this manner, hurtful to so many former parishioners and people of faith.

Nearby neighbours were also wondering of this was a sign that the Archdiocese is perhaps planning to demolish the building ahead of the approvals process to ensure a particular development outcome and without input from the community around the required rezoning of the property. One neighbour suggested that a "Demolition Watch" should be organized to prevent any untoward actions around the property.

More to follow as events unfold.

A few items were salvaged from the dumpster by quick-acting citizens. Photo by Marion Haas.

See this story for news about the sale of the  church.


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