Profile of Marc Porlier, alleged arsonist

The Sun profiled Marc Porlier, the man allegedly behind the arson at St John the Evangelist Church. Porlier, the article says, was once an altar boy at the very church he tried to set fire to.

While the defence lawyer wouldn’t comment on any animosity her client may have had toward the church, she acknowledged bizarre videos Porlier posted online in recent years — all entitled “The Gospel according to Marc” — provide insight into his feelings on Catholicism.

In one video, Porlier explains he was “raised in a cult.”

“I’d like to say that I didn’t like being brainwashed, but as a kid I actually wanted to be a priest,” he says.

Possible firebombing at STJE church

Jeremy Cohn from Global says that St John the Evangelist Church may have been firebombed this Easter Sunday. Police and Fire are investigating, and church services are closed. There were no injuries.

Sponsored Syrian refugees arrived

Edna Harding has wonderful news (that I’m reporting a bit late): the refugees sponsored in part by the Central United Church arrived in late November.


She says that

both are busy taking ESL courses. Hamza did speak English before coming to Canada…. In fact he is already at level 6. Suheir is a quick study and is now at level 4…. Late January they moved into a building around Bloor and Islington.  

Life is very busy for them. All their time goes to travelling to and from school and doing homework.  They seem to be adjusting.  I have found them to be simply delightful.

Nunziata speaks on church for sale

Frances Nunziata has clarified the status of the 150-year-old Weston Road church that is up for sale. St John’s Anglican, which is listed in the Heritage Properties database, is not a designated heritage property. It is for sale for $1,650,000.


Nunziata says

A listed building is protected from demolition by a part of the Ontario Heritage Act that requires an owner to provide the City with a minimum of 60 days advance notice of an intention to demolish, at which point Heritage Preservation Services (HPS) would then initiate the process to have the property given heritage designation. HPS has been notified that the land is now up for sale and they will be monitoring the address.

St John’s Anglican Church for sale

St John’s Anglican Church on Weston Road has gone up for sale.

The church was built in 1856 and renovated in 1999. According to, it is not designated as a heritage building”, which certainly sounds ominous. This, however, contradicts the city of Toronto’s database of heritage properties, in which it is listed.

The Anglican church is asking for $1,650,000, which will be used to build a new church at a different location for the newly-combined parish.

Thanks to A for the tip.

Refugees have disappeared

Edna Harding has some bad news: the Canadian government has cancelled Central United’s private sponsorship of two Syrian refugees. When administrators went to the camp to find the mother and son pair, they had disappeared. Harding says, “we are not sure if they were taken off the private sponsorship list and placed on the government sponsored list or if they simply left the camp.  We may never find out.”

Everyone  in our group has experienced an overwhelming sense of loss”, she writes. “It feels as if we have lost a friend even though we never even knew their names.”

A group of west-end United churches had sponsored the refugees. Undeterred, they are meeting this week to “regroup and charge ahead” with another sponsorship. They are confident that they will soon be able to find another family in need.

St John’s Anglican Church closes up

St John’s Anglican Church closed on October 4 and has merged with three other west-end Churches.

The plan, explained in June, is to “build a state-of-the-art church on one of the existing properties, to be paid for by the sale of the other three churches.”

The church was built in 1856.

(Video by Nick Gervais)