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Our Lady of Assumption Church

 

Our Lady of Assumption Church – 350 Huron Church Rd., Windsor, ON – HOPE REMAINS FOR FUTURE OF HISTORIC CHURCH DESPITE FUNDRAISING ROLLERCOASTER RIDE  

Why it matters

Photo by Christopher Woodrich, under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Our Lady of Assumption Church is a prominent landmark steeped in history—a Gothic Revival tour de force serving the oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic parish in Ontario, with roots dating back to the early 18th century. Built in 1842 on land donated by the Huron Nation, the present church is associated with an earlier Jesuit mission for the local Huron and Ouendot First Nations; with service to the area's first French farmers; and with the founding of Assumption College, which ultimately became the University of Windsor. Owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, and located on a notable site east of the Ambassador Bridge and adjacent to the University of Windsor, the building is loved by parishioners and the wider community. 

Why it’s endangered

Substantial funds estimated at $10 to $15 million are needed to make essential structural, electrical, mechanical and life safety repairs and upgrades. Yet there is a will in the community to save the building, and optimism that the funds can be found. Indeed, major donors have come forward offering multi-million dollar contributions. However, fundraising efforts have been a rollercoaster ride of hopes raised and dashed. A 2009 fundraising campaign led by prominent local figures was terminated by the Bishop without explanation. 

Photo by Christopher Woodrich, under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Where things stand

The building's doors were closed indefinitely in November 2014, with parishioners now worshipping elsewhere. There is no indication of the Diocese's intentions for the future of the building. In the meantime, portions of the brick façade are crumbling.