Modbox to revitalize St. Charles Church into community hub

St. Charles Church in Vanier was a community focal point for more than a century before declining attendance forced it to hold its final service in 2010.

In 2014, the deconsecrated Beechwood Avenue building was sold to Modbox, a company combining architecture firm Linebox with building and project management firm Lake Partnership that has little interest in ordinary condo projects.

“This is more than a building or a development,” said Modbox CEO Darryl Squires. “It is a chance to do something unique and special.”

The plans for St. Charles Market include a collection of horizontal homes and townhomes wrapping around the original church structure. At its heart, the historic bell tower will serve once again as a welcoming beacon to the Ottawa community.

Construction is officially underway at the site to set the foundation for the new building. The restoration of the church itself was completed in the fall of 2017, and the former rectory behind the church was removed in July 2018.

The repurposed church will be transformed into a restaurant and a local marketplace, while the original grounds will once again serve its neighbours with seasonal attractions and community events.

It’s one of many recent business investments in Vanier, an area offering untapped opportunities for developers as well as cafés, stores, art studios and startups.

“Vanier has an enormous amount of potential,” says Mr. Squires.

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