Town Hall - Wed. Apr. 24 @ 7 pm

Rental Proposal Working Group Update

Islington United Church
Rental Proposal Working Group Update
at Town Hall meeting

Wednesday, April 24 @ 7 pm

About one month ago, a working group of six IUC members (Ted Wilson, co-lead, Val Greenfield, co-lead, Kim Blackwell, Marjorie Booth, Jo Cook, Bev Walton) was formed known as the Rental Proposal Working Group. This group was asked to investigate what would be necessary to rent out certain areas of our Church to The German International School Toronto (GIST).
The German International School Toronto (GIST) was founded in 2000 and has a student enrolment of 80 students from around the world.  The school currently operates in a TDSB location and is looking for new rental space commencing, June 2020.  Their current school is being demolished as part of a community redevelopment plan.
As Working Group members, we have met, and will continue to meet, with the leadership of the school. We have examined the school, its current location, operations, culture, and track record. Once we fully understand the breadth and scope of the expectations of GIST, we will conduct a thorough review of IUC facilities, capabilities and needs and reach a conclusion about potential alignment of visions and requirements of both the German School Toronto and IUC. We will then make our recommendation to Church Council at the end of May.
As part of our due diligence, we want to share preliminary information we have learned with you at a Town Hall Meeting, April 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the SanctuaryWe want to hear from you in this open meeting. We want to hear your questions. This is an important part of our information collection process.
Please mark this date on your calendar now to attend the April 24th Town Hall to discuss this rental opportunity that could generate a substantial revenue stream for IUC. We will be distributing a hard copy Q&A to help you prepare for this meeting. There will also be a link in our next update on April 17, where you can read the Q&A on the IUC website. This is important to the future and welfare of our church; please attend!
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please share them with any member of our Rental Proposal Working Group.
Ted Wilson, co-lead
Val Greenfield, co-lead
Kim Blackwell
Marjorie Booth
Jo Cook
Bev Walton

Questions and Answers

To prepare for this meeting we have compiled a Q&A document that will address some of the questions and concerns of the congregation. A hard copy of this Q&A will be available at the church on Easter Sunday, April 21 and also as a handout on the evening of the Town Hall, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. 


1. What is involved with the Rental Proposal received by Islington United Church from the German International School Toronto (GIST)?
The GIST proposal came to Islington United Church in January 2019. GIST's proposal asked for exclusive and shared use of certain spaces within our church (in the basement/lower level with the exception of some use of Stewart East Hall for gym classes) to conduct a school for preschool and grade school children for a term of five years. The Church Council reviewed the proposal and received a presentation by school faculty and board members. Shortly after, Church Council established the Rental Proposal Working Group to conduct a thorough examination of all the many details that need to be considered and to listen to and learn the views of the congregation. This work continues.
2. Is this a private, not-for-profit school and what ages are included in its student enrolment? How many faculty and support staff operate this school? Is the ownership abroad and who is the owner? Is it a financially sound school?
Education is offered from pre-kindergarten to Grade 8, teaching German, English and French to students. The school meets both Province of Ontario and German curriculum standards. Faculty and staff come from both Germany and Canada and are certified by either the German Education Board or the Ontario College of Teachers. GIST is a not-for-profit school and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Principal, Kathrin Sander, and Vice Principal, Sarah Miles, shape the daily pedagogical life of the school.
There are 20 full- and part-time faculty and support staff in the GIST administrative structure. The GIS has 140 schools abroad and is supported by the Federal Republic of Germany’s Central Office for Schools Abroad (ZfA). The Toronto school was founded in 2000.
3. What is the educational approach taken by GIST?
In addition to robust curriculum standards (see question 2), GIST has a strong values-based program.
“Education is about the whole child. It is about building a great mind, but it is also about shaping a kind heart. The fast-changing world of the 21st century will ask for the independent and critical thinker, for the culturally aware individual, but also for the empathetic and respectful leader. The German International School Toronto’s program combines academic excellence with a high-quality character education. Our “CHARAKTER”/Character program educates the whole student and speaks to the heart, mind, and soul.”
 4. Why is GIST looking for space at this time? Is it looking at other possible locations as well as Islington United Church?
GIST’s current location in a TDSB (Toronto District School Board) school has been designated for demolition. A developer has bought the land for a new condo project and has extended GIST’s lease until the end of June 2020. Yes, GIST is considering other potential organizations.
5. What are GIST values? Do they align with Islington United?
I have had the advantage of meeting some Board members and staff of GIST and have formed a very positive impression of the school’s Charakter/Character program. (Note: I was very skeptical at first.) Its values and their various manifestations in the school’s programs are consistent with the values of Islington United Church. The testimonials by parents I have heard and the behaviour I have witnessed on a visit to the school bear out what we have been told. During our on-site visit we saw evidence of the community programs that the children have undertaken including fundraising for broad community causes.” --From a visit by a Church Council member
6. What would be the projected start date of the new rental agreement, if approved?
The rental agreement would begin July 2020, when GIST’s current lease expires. If the proposal is recommended and then approved, a separate negotiations team would work on the rental agreement until it is acceptable to both parties. At any time during this process if an impasse develops, all negotiations would stop and the Rental Proposal will be declined.

7. Why was there a need to do a survey about space we have for rent at Islington United Church?
The Church Council was reminded by the Trustees last fall 2018 that the five-year deficit needs to be addressed. The fastest and most efficient way to add revenue to the existing operating budget was to look at other forms of revenue in the building. What was available to rent? A room usage report was undertaken. The report, Analysis of Room Usage, prepared by Toronto United Church Council (TUCC) in early 2019 provides ample evidence that our space is significantly under-utilized. Our congregation and current renters use only 18.74% of our useable space. It was necessary to understand our potential to look at other forms of revenue within the building.
8. Would a long-term renter impact our work, our mission and ministries? How?
Accepting GIST as a long-term renter will affect our work and ministry in some of the following ways:
There would be a need to adjust to a different use of space. We would need to negotiate the use of shared space so that Islington volunteers could carry on programs and ministries during the week.
Storage is a major issue that we must address whether this proposal is accepted or not; storage “creep” is a big problem; so is failure to “clean house” with regularity. This effort may free up additional space within the church.
Noise could potentially be an issue regarding funerals and quiet places in the church. This would need to be carefully addressed.
There could be constraint on starting new programs that would require space weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during the summer for day camp. There is a high priority placed on ensuring that existing programs are minimally impacted. GIST has shown a keen interest in our outreach programs and would like to explore ways their children could participate, (e.g., helping in the Giving Garden). Events to build community and highlight Islington’s gifts could still happen in the evening and on weekends.
Current renters of church space will be reviewed and moved to a suitable space in the church, if at all possible. This realignment or reallocation of space will be considered in ongoing planning. Unfortunately, not all of our current renters would be accommodated.
9. What effect would school parking have on our parking availability?
GIST requires several (6-8) permanent week-day reserved parking spots. This would be subject to negotiations.
10. What is the fire-drill/evacuation plan for Islington United including what could be the rental space for GIST?
There would be a new fire-drill/evacuation plan for Islington United including the school rental space. This would be developed with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal.
11. Will there be signage on the front lawn and will it affect the image of the church?
There may be agreed-upon signage on the front lawn but the Islington United Church signage would always dominate.

12. As Islington United Church is a registered charity will significant rental revenue change its status?
We are investigating the registered charity status of the church in regards to rental revenue. We would not jeopardize our status as a registered charity with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. We would continue to comply with all regulations.
13. What would a stable new revenue stream do to support our work, our mission and our ministries?
The assurance of a stable long-term rental income over a period of up to five years would relieve some of the pressure on event-based fundraising while Islington United plans its future and addresses its long-term goals for carrying out God’s mission. Fundraising would continue, however, with less pressure on volunteers. Many people have commented that revenue could be used for staffing ministries and programs. It could also be used for deficit reduction.
14. What happens to our insurance coverage?
Should final negotiations proceed, insurance coverage will be part of the rental agreement.
15. What will happen with the general ‘wear and tear’ usage costs to the building with increased traffic?
The increased usage costs within the building would be calculated and included in the rental/lease agreement. Expected increases in utility costs can also be incorporated in the agreement.
16. Where would our finances net out after all the building capital improvements and expenses we could incur with this new rental/lease agreement.
The Rental Proposal Working Group will continue its due diligence and gather the data to have an accurate financial picture.

17. What is the process for Islington United Church to vote on this Rental Proposal?
The Church Council has been elected by the congregation to make decisions on a variety of matters. Church Council will be the only body to vote on this Rental Proposal. Council will continue to use church communication avenues, e.g., the weekly announcement bulletin, website, e-blasts, and blogs, asking for your questions and feedback as it prepares to make its decision.

In addition, Church Council meetings are open meetings; anyone can attend, but they cannot vote.

18. Why should we consider this rental proposal at all? What’s wrong with staying the way we are?
Our five-year cumulative deficit needs to be addressed. We are constantly in need of fundraising just to stay in one place, let alone move ahead in God’s mission. This is something many would rather not hear and would rather deny, but it’s the reality and the challenge we face. And we’re not alone. Most communities of faith across Canada and North America are in the same situation.

The world is changing, our lives are changing, and people’s choice of active church engagement is changing. But Islington United has been a bastion of faith in our community for two hundred years. We’re known and have a strong but dwindling base of assured support. We need to create a new, base of financial stability.
19. How does the timing of this rental opportunity affect our long-term planning?
The Five-Year Strategic Plan – 2020-2025 planning for Islington United will begin this fall 2019. The acceptance of this long-term rental would give us time to build clarity about what is important to Islington; give us time to assess volunteer resources and staffing needs; give us time for self-reflection; give us time and the opportunity to create a wish list, plan, then implement. At the end of five years we could re-evaluate our long-term rental experience.

20. What are the next steps in this process after this Town Hall meeting?
The Rental Proposal Working Group will continue its due diligence and finish its work by early May. Town Hall feedback, email questions, and personal conversations with church members will provide valuable and critical information upon which to make their final recommendation to Church Council. Please get your questions and comments to the working group by Wednesday, May 1.

This Rental Proposal recommendation will be presented to Church Council on May 29. Council will review and discuss this recommendation and subsequently vote. If approved, Church Council would then appoint a Rental Negotiation Team to work with GIST to negotiate a rental/lease agreement to the satisfaction of all. If during this process an impasse is declared, negotiations will stop and the Rental Proposal will be turned down.
21. Will there be another Town Hall before the results are announced of the Church Council vote for this Rental Proposal?
Yes. There will be another Town Hall meeting in mid-May. At that time an update on the new information that has been gathered from the Rental Proposal Working Group will be shared with the congregation. An updated Q&A will be distributed.
22. When the vote has been taken by Church Council will the results be shared with the congregation?
Yes. The final outcome of the vote will be announced to the congregation using several communication channels, e.g., weekly announcement bulletin, website, e-blasts and blogs.

If you have any questions or comments please share them with any member of our Rental Proposal Working Group by Wednesday, May 1 to be included in the working group’s deliberations.
Ted Wilson, co-lead
Val Greenfield, co-lead
Kim Blackwell
Marjorie Booth
Jo Cook
Bev Walton

AFFIRM IUC Merchant Gift Cards

Everyone Needs a Lift!

Shopping Helps Buy the IUC Chairlift


The Affirm Team, with Church Council approval, initiated a fund raising campaign to make Scout Hall and the hallway to the children's programs accessible to all. The Affirm Ministry has committed to a barrier-free building and with your help we will be able to purchase and install a chairlift to make mobility possible for people who use Scout Hall, as well as build and install a ramp to access the lower level.

This initiative is increasingly important since Islington has signed onto rEcess. The rEcess program is for children with special needs and their siblings - one of only three such programs in Canada. rEcess is unique because it gives parents a “timeout” while it gives all kids a chance to let loose and have fun together. The program is ge
nerally open to children aged 0 to 13 years. Scout Hall and other rooms on the children's level of the building will be used for this program.

Our fundraising goal is $45,000. This includes purchase of the chairlift, preparation of the site, installation of the lift, and building and installing the ramp to provide
access to the lower level.

Our method of fundraising is easy and simple: you buy a merchant gift card at IUC for everyday shopping items such as groceries, restaurants, gasoline, entertainment, clothing and more. A percentage of the cost of each card is returned to the church. Islington has used this method of fundraising in the past to great success.

Buy a card next time you are at coffee time in Stewart East Hall, from the church office, or by contacting CarrieChenier, or PeggySheffield,

Observer Is Now Broadview

More Great News and Features

New Name. New Look. More Pages


Starting in May, The United Church Observer will be renamed Broadview. It will retain the very best of The Observer with a refreshed design and 16 more pages!

Only $25 for an annual subscription that delivers so much more than you expected. To renew or start your subscription, drop off your payment at the church office.

Please make cheques payable to Islington United Church. For more information contact Leslee Armstrong at 416-239-1131 x230 or


Make a Friend Instantly

Why You Need to Wear Your Name Badge

Wearing a name badge at Islington reflects our values of being an open and welcoming community. A name badge is:

1. A permission slip to talk to someone new.
2. A sign of friendliness and openness.
3. A worry-reducer – the other person can relax about remembering your name.
4. A reminder to be open and transparent.
5. An invitation to connect and build relationship.

Name badges are available to order this Sunday after both services in Stewart East Hall, or by emailing Murray Wood: Suggested donation is $10.00.


Sponsor and Dedicate A Colour Bulletin

Colour Makes A Difference

A dedication in the bulletin is a lovely way to recognize a special occasion or person in your life. Your donation will include a highlighted announcement and the bulletin and announcements printed in full colour for that week. If you'd like to learn more, contact Leslee Armstrong inthe church office (416-239-1131 x230;

Monday & Friday Meditations

Mondays @ 7:00 pm; 2nd & 4th Friday @ 3:00 pm

Mediation with James
Every Monday @ 7 pm &
2nd & 4th Friday @ 3 pm

in the Chapel

We are pleased to be resuming our weekly meditations and wish to extend the invitation to anyone who is curious. Come join us for quiet breath-centred meditation, guided by gentle reminders. Let yourself relax and release what you no longer need, all the while anchoring yourself more deeply in your heart. Feel free to come and check it out.  No experience is required.

All are welcome!

In April...

Support Islington’s Food Programs

Support Islington’s Food Programs

In April please donate rice for our Mabelle Food Program and Emergency Food Pantry. This will help supplement the food provided by the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Place your donations in the Food Bank Box in the Narthex or outside the church office.

Thank you for your generous and ongoing support to this program!

Grand River Luncheon and Cruise

A Good Company Event

Cruise the Grand River
June 12 5:30 - 10 pm

Just 56 tickets are available for the Good Company June cruise event.  Tickets are $100 and include bus transportation, lunch, entertainment and delightful day on the river. Tickets available in Stewart East Hall.  Bus departs IUC at 9 am.


Calling All Photographers

We Want Your Pictures

We want your pictures!

The Church is active on Facebook and Twitter. In order to post fresh content we need your pictures! 

Please bring your camera to Church events and snap away! Send us your pictures to post on the website, Facebook and Twitter by emailing them to


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