Tyndale University College and Seminiary to Acquire Morrow Park
The following is a press release from the Sisters of St. Joseph and Tyndale University College & Seminary.
In a transaction that enables both parties to continue the pursuit of their respective missions in Christian education and community service, Tyndale University College & Seminary (“Tyndale”) will acquire the 56.3 acre (22.8 hectare) Morrow Park property from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. The property is located at 3377 Bayview Avenue in Toronto, just south of Steeles Avenue. The transaction, valued at $40 million, is subject to a number of usual business conditions.
The property is currently home to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and St. Joseph’s Morrow Park High School. The lease of the High School to the Toronto Catholic District School Board has been extended through the end of the 2009-2010 academic year.
The transaction, which has been approved by the Vatican, will be implemented in stages over a period of up to 10 years. This process will accommodate the relocation of the Sisters of St. Joseph to their future home.
Opened in 1961, the Morrow Park property will continue to be used for religious purposes and as a centre of Christian education and training. Its Chapel will continue as sacred space. The transaction will enable Tyndale to meet the projected need for additional classroom and related space associated with its undergraduate university college and its seminary for graduate students. Tyndale will retain its current campus which is located in the immediate area of Morrow Park.
Sister Margaret Myatt, General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, said, “This transaction continues a 156-year tradition of addressing our changing needs and those of the community we serve. It reflects our plan to secure a new home while expanding our focus on community-based outreach and service.”
“In recent years we and our independent advisors have reviewed a number of alternatives surrounding the future of Morrow Park,” Sister Margaret noted. “Key to our decision was the knowledge that Tyndale will continue the use of the property for Christian education and that the Chapel will continue as sacred space.”
Dr. Brian C. Stiller, President and Vice Chancellor of Tyndale University College & Seminary, said, “This acquisition strengthens the pursuit of our 112-year mission to be a leading centre of post-secondary Christian education and training in Canada. It will meet our projected need for additional space as we grow. And the property, including the Chapel, will continue to be used for religious purposes.
“Tyndale has spent several years planning for its future needs. The fact that the Morrow Park property is so close to our current campus, can accommodate our increasing enrollment and is so naturally suited to educational and sacred space makes it a natural fit for us. The cooperative and constructive way in which the transaction was concluded illustrates how different religious traditions can work together in harmony.”
Part of the transaction proceeds will be used to purchase land and to build a future home for the Sisters on that property. Following an extensive search, the Sisters have acquired 3.8 acres (1.5 hectares) of land at O’Connor Drive and Broadview Avenue in Toronto. The property is currently occupied by the Ina Grafton Gage Home, a long-term care facility (“the Home”).
The Home will lease its current site from the Sisters and will remain in place until completion of its new residence, expected in 2008. In the meantime, the Sisters will continue to occupy Morrow Park until their own future home is built. Their new home will incorporate environmentally friendly design and construction, and will reflect the character of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The Sisters will also use the proceeds from the sale of Morrow Park to support current and future community outreach and service programs. They are responding to the need for programs that address the poverty, isolation, lack of community and the spiritual void in our cities. Current initiatives include, among others, affordable apartments for women who urgently need housing, drop-ins offering food and companionship, life skills programs like cooking and sewing, and friendly visiting programs. Another new outreach involves nourishing the spiritual life of young adults and building community. The Sisters are also involved in partnership initiatives that address, among others, affordable housing in Toronto and the needs of newcomers to Canada. Future ministries to be undertaken with the sale proceeds are being identified and will be announced as they are approved.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto was established in 1851. It is one of six separate Congregations which together form The Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada. The more than 10,000 Sisters of St. Joseph throughout the world strive to meet their common goal of “love of God and love of neighbour.” In Toronto, this love has taken many forms. An initial focus on direct ministry - including caring for orphans, teaching children and nursing the sick – led to the establishment of hospitals as well as elementary and secondary schools. These institutions are an enduring part of the Sisters’ legacy. Today’s announcement underlines the ongoing intention of the Sisters to respond to the unmet needs around them. Additional information is available at www.csj-to.ca.
Tyndale University College & Seminary has been a major centre of Christian higher education in Canada since 1894. The longest-established school of its kind in the country, Tyndale is an undergraduate and graduate institution whose 1,200 students represent some 40 different denominations. The non-publicly funded Tyndale was accorded university status in Ontario in 2003. In addition to its religious degrees, Tyndale offers BA and BA (Honours) degrees in the humanities, social sciences and business. The seminary, offering graduate programs in theological education, is the largest of its kind in the country, preparing leaders to serve in churches and mission agencies across Canada and around the world. Additional information is available at www.tyndale.ca.