Greek community of Phanar in Toronto ready to sell temple for debt

16 February 2021 13:27
The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Toronto. Photo: The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Toronto. Photo:

The object of sale can be St. Irene’s Church or Virgin Mary's Cathedral in Toronto under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The Greek Community of Toronto is facing the sale of one of its properties to make up pandemic-related budget shortfalls, reports

The Greek Community of Toronto, which represents more than 150,000 Canadians of Hellenic descent in the GTA, says its overall revenues have dropped 90 per cent and its total debt is $4.5 million. By the end of 2021, it is on track to lose earnings of $2 million. It offers cultural, language and church services to the Greek community. In a news release on Monday, the organization said its board of directors has formed an independent advisory committee to explore how to solve its financial problems and it recommended the sale of at least one of the organization's properties. These include: St. John's & Alexander the Great Cultural Centre, St. Demetrios & Polymenakion Cultural Centre, St. Irene's Church, and Virgin Mary's Cathedral.

"We're facing reality," Nikona Georgakopoulos, the organization's first vice president and treasurer, commented on the decision. "These are extremely tough decisions. Nobody on the board wanted to make these decisions, but unfortunately, it's better we make them now than somebody else making for you."

As for its Greek schools, it used to have about 1,000 students, but now it has about 100. That's been another financial blow, Georgakopoulos said.

"People are not happy at all as they shouldn't be ... But unfortunately, as directors, we have a responsibility to make sure the community continues going forward," he added.

As previously reported, a church founded by Ukrainians in 1933 was demolished and burnt in Canada.

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