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29CE - Transformative Infill of Church Properties

24 May 2018 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours

The confluence of changing demographics, diminishing congregations and increased land pressure in Canada’s urban centres has put places of worship in a position to consider their properties as opportunities to develop housing, amenities and social space. Many churches are struggling to address issues such as planning for alternative expressions of faith, meeting the needs of an aging population, maximizing the value of their properties and transforming and/or maintaining buildings within constrained budgets. This session will describe a unique working method going beyond the traditional role of architects to facilitate transformation of these properties.

Learning Objectives

    1. Understand the historical role of churches in Canadian communities.
    2. Learn the factors leading to the shift in role of churches in today’s context.
    3. Learn design approaches that allows congregations to serve the community while preparing for new uses, residents and objectives for the future.
    4. Gain lessons learned from projects and thoughts on continued innovation.


Drew Sinclair, M.Arch., OAA, MAA, SAA, MRAIC

Drew Sinclair is a licensed architect and urban designer, and a principal of SvN. His work focuses on the design of housing, community facilities and master plans that meet the needs of rapidly expanding communities. Drew led SvN’s Athletes’ Village Master Plan for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games and continues to lead the firm’s housing and institutional building practice areas. Drew is a recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners and a past recipient of the Canadian Association of Geographers and Reisman Gold Medal in Design.