Have you ever had guests from out of town who knew more about your hometown than you did? That’s how I felt learning about this Toronto story — a city about an hour away — from the Christianity Today Live Blog.
Canadian churches in Toronto may face eviction if they fail to pay increased rent to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) — even as those payments increase up to 800 percent.
The TDSB announced on August 29 that churches renting space in public schools would no longer qualify for reduced rental rates. Other nonprofits still qualify for subsidized rent, but churches have been removed as the school district seeks to close a sizable budget gap.
Churches have scrambled to determine their options. In some cases, the recent change will result in rent increases of up to 800 percent.
CT previously covered the similar situation of churches in New York City, a long-running case that questioned whether or not schools could evict churches and went before the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2011. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, so in June a New York district court judge issued a permanent injunction, allowing churches to continue meeting in schools.
Certainly there are other types of spaces available, and churches, be they in New York or Toronto or Dallas or elsewhere need to be more creative in uncovering new places to meet.