Have you heard the big news? A major donation has been committed to the cause of transforming the century-old St. Giles church into a community hub.

The donor — a Ward 3 resident who wishes to remain anonymous — is offering $400,000 towards adaptive reuse of the long-vacant heritage building, which stands at Main and Holton in the Gibson neighbourhood. The Friends of St. Giles are incredibly grateful to the donor for their generosity, community focus, and creative thinking.

St. Giles was designed in 1912 by the prestigious Hamilton architecture firm of Stewart & Witton, and has been part of the community for over 100 years. Despite over 2,500 signatures on a petition to save St. Giles — and being twice recommended for designation — the vacant, pre-WW1 St. Giles church building still lacks heritage protections.

Have your say on St. Giles

Heartfelt thanks to the thousands of people who’ve spoken up about saving this irreplaceable landmark. To quote just one of the many comments on the petition: “We need to preserve Hamilton’s architecture and history, buildings such as this one are what makes Hamilton such a special city. Instead of knocking it down let’s find solutions for how it can serve the community in a new way!”

Places of worship are the original community spaces. The Friends of St. Giles have long envisioned community space at a revitalized, restored St. Giles church, one that can serve and enhance the neighbourhood through a mix of cultural and social resources.

The Friends are in the process of incorporating as a not-for-profit. One of their goals is to build on this generous donation with additional fundraising, which would be earmarked for adaptive reuse of St. Giles for the community.

What would you want to see at a reopened St. Giles?

Based in Hamilton’s Ward 3, the Friends of St. Giles are a group of neighbours and residents leading the community-based effort to save Stewart & Witton’s masterpiece, St. Giles church. Their #StewartWitton150 Stadium District walking tour is part of Doors Open Hamilton 2022, happening this Mother’s Day weekend. Join their mailing list at FriendsofStGiles.ca