Toronto's Geary Avenue Rehearsal Factory Not Yet Sold to Church, Say Current Owners
Despite C3's claims that it purchased the building, the practice space owners say no sale has been finalized yet
Published May 10, 2021One of Toronto's most popular practice spaces, Rehearsal Factory on Geary Avenue, is becoming a church. An announcement from C3 — a rapidly expanding church first founded in Australia — reveals that it has purchased the adjoining buildings located at 330 and 322 Geary Ave. in Toronto's Wallace Emerson neighbourhood.
According to C3, it will begin work on turning the building at 322 Geary into a 300-seat auditorium; initially, it will lease out the building at 330 Geary as a way to pay for the project, but there's no indication if this plan will still include practice spaces.
After that, C3 will renovate 330 Geary as well, creating an auditorium to hold 1,500 people. Adding insult to injury, C3's announcement calls the building "the former Rehearsal Factory."
UPDATE (5/10, 5:05 p.m. ET): Despite C3's claims that it "purchased that very building" on Geary Avenue, Rehearsal Factory's president Chris Skinner and vice-president Evon Skinner — who own the building — have now clarified that no such deal has been made.
In a statement to Exclaim!, they said the following: "Although offers have been made on the building, the building has not been sold. If and when the building is sold, we will give our tenants plenty of notice. In the past when we have sold other buildings we have done lease backs from 1 to 5 years to accommodate our tenants. As will be the case with Geary Avenue."
C3 hasn't revealed its timeline for when it will be booting out the many bands that rehearse in the space. There also hasn't been an official announcement from Rehearsal Factory. In its current form, the facility is home to many monthly lockout spaces, as well as hourly rooms.
C3 has been widely described as a "hipster megachurch" and is frequently compared to Hillsong, another Australian-founded church that has become popular in North America. The C3 Toronto website is full of inclusive phrases like "you won't be met with shame, guilt, or condemnation" and "whatever your story is, God wants to be a part of it."
But in case you were wondering, the church's global website clearly states, "Marriage was instituted by God, ratified by Jesus, and is exclusively between a man and a woman," and also that "[sex] is only appropriate within and designed for marriage."