Want to Buy a Canadian Church?

Who doesn’t?!

Denise Shanoha of Ladywood, Manitoba is selling a church that is no longer being used because she just doesn’t have time to maintain it anymore:

The abandoned church (via morrismulvey on Flickr)

I really don’t want to sell the church, but I need the money. And this whole community knows that as well, so they’re supporting me,” she said Wednesday.

Shanoha said some, like her, want to turn the old church into a business, but she added that others have expressed interest in converting it into a residence.

Or a bar.

Or a library.

Or a coffee shop.

No word on the asking price but if anyone wanted to get a Kickstarter campaign up and running to turn this church into damn near anything else, I would totally chip in.

(Thanks to Michelle for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Sven2547

    A buddy of mine and his wife bought a tiny church and they made it their home. The sanctuary is a huge living room, the altar area is now a kitchen, and the choir loft is an office. It’s a really cool setup.

  • Beth

    There is a church for sale in Lorain Ohio too. I just drove by it and chuckled thinking of the possibilities if I had the cash.

  • Art_Vandelay

    It’s got bathhouse written all over it.

  • primenumbers

    There’s one in our town up for sale too, but I don’t have the spare cash…

  • The Other Weirdo

    Why did you ignore the possibility of turning it into a strip bar?

    Just kidding, just kidding. But no, not really.

    Oh, what fun it is…

  • Steve

    “…located about 70 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.” Yikes.

  • Anna

    It’s pretty!

    If I had the money, I’d buy it. Maybe turn it into a library or a school.

  • Spuddie

    It has a big living room for entertaining guests but not much bed-space.

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    If that community needs a library or after school youth center, the former church might be a good spot. It’s already designed for community access, right?

    Seeing churches close due to lack of attendance gives me hope for the future.

  • Oranje

    Ooh… that yard would make a great disc golf course.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    That’s too obscene! Let’s get back to the strip club and bathhouse ideas.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    That would make a nice private home, or a community learning center and meeting room/lecture hall/concert hall/theatre. Cut the pointy part off the steeple and put a telescope dome on top, and you’ve got a really nice temple of science.

    Edit: I just reminded myself of a Monty Python pet store keeper talking about converting an apparently dead parrot into a fish. Legs off, fins on, stick a little pipe through the back of its neck so it can breathe, bit of gold paint, got yourself a fish.

  • walkamungus

    Ever since I first heard “Alice’s Restaurant” I’ve wanted to live in a church…

  • Composer 99

    I know of a decommissioned church in Toronto that was turned into condominiums, and one in Ottawa that became a performing arts centre.

  • curtcameron

    I guy I know personally bought a church building in uptown Dallas, and used it to house his employees working to get his startup company running. He’s doesn’t own it any more, since his company was slow to get going, but he delighted in the fact that he, a staunch atheist, owned what used to be a church and was putting it to better use.

  • GodlessPoutine

    There was an old church converted to a great residential place down the street from my old place. Here in Quebec we’ve got so many churches abandoned that some were going for literally hundreds of dollars.

    Some of the notable transformations are to circus schools, libraries, concert halls and – of course, condos.

  • GodlessPoutine

    This reminded me of some suggestions Robert Ingersoll had for church buildings.

    “Now, it seems to me that it would be far better for the people of a town, having a population of four or five thousand, to have one church. and the edifice should be of use, not only on Sunday, but on every day of the week. In this building should be the library of the town. It should be the clubhouse of the people, where they could find the principal newspapers and periodicals of the world. Its auditorium should be like a theater. Plays should be presented by home talent; an orchestra formed, music cultivated. The people should meet there at any time they desire. The women could carry their knitting and sewing; and connected with it should be rooms for the playing of games, billiards, cards, and chess. Everything should be made as agreeable as possible. The citizens should take pride in this building. They should adorn its niches with statues and its walls with pictures. It should be the intellectual center. They could employ a gentleman of ability, possibly of genius, to address them on Sundays, on subjects that would be of real interest, of real importance. They could say to this minister:

    ‘We are engaged in business during the week; while we are working at our trades and professions, we want you to study, and on Sunday tell us what you have found out.’

    “Let such a minister take for a series of sermons the history, the philosophy, the art and the genius of the Greeks. Let him tell of the wondrous metaphysics, myths and religions of India and Egypt. Let him make his congregation conversant with the philosophies of the world, with the great thinkers, the great poets, the great artists, the great actors, the great orators, the great inventors, the captains of industry, the soldiers of progress. Let them have a Sunday school in which the children shall be made acquainted with the facts of nature; with botany, entomology, something of geology and astronomy.”

    - Robert Ingersoll, “How to Reform Mankind” (1896)

  • Rain

    It looks lopsided.

  • Rain

    Somebody probably went hog wild with the “photoshop”.

  • Spuddie

    I bet the acoustics are awesome!

  • Rob Bos

    Winnipeg has a north? D:

  • Rain

    Wow the Christian Post reported on the “atheists don’t hate God” thing and they reported on it like news without editorializing on it with wacky Bible verses or theology and whatnot. No counter arguments whatsoever. Which makes it un-blog-rebuttal-able since there is nothing to rebut. Christian Post you need to work on your atheist trolling. Although the comments are hilarious as usual.


  • Dorothy

    i’ve lived in winnipeg all my life and i’ve never heard of Ladywood, had to google map it. this church is in the middle of nowhere, Ladywood isn’t even a map dot. It’s about 14 km north of the small town of Beausejour tho, so maybe not a bad location for someone who wants quiet surroundings. But probably not much use a business property.
    Just another symbol of disappearing small towns

  • allein

    A while back my mom sent me an email with pictures of a church that had been converted to a home (I forget where). It was really nice. The last picture was of the small graveyard next to the building with a comment about how quiet the neighbors are.

  • SCCL-er

    This happened in my town, only the church was torn down to make way for a hospital administration building. The problem was that the church was a gorgeous historical building and while I’m agnostic to the core, I hate when historical buildings are razed. Breaks my heart.

  • Bitter Lizard

    You mean a place where sweaty, closeted old men can satisfy their most secret perversions? How would we tell the difference?

  • Mario Strada

    It is quite charming. If it wasn’t near the north pole I’d be interested (My Canadian wife loves my “Canadians are at the North Pole” jokes)

  • Mark W.

    More bath robes and less ceremonial robes, that and less guilt and recriminations.

  • Bitter Lizard

    True. And consent.

  • Buckley

    There is an old Congregational Church in Crete, IL (near to where I used to live) and it is now an antique store (irony alert). The cool thing is that the old church had active members in the Underground Railroad and active in the anti-slavery movement. It’s adjacent cemetery has known UGRR conductors buried and as irony will have it a former Lt. in the CSA is buried on the opposite end. It’s one of the few surviving sites out side of Chicago that has a connection to anti-slavery and at least the history is being preserved.

  • Ders

    My fraternity chapter bought a church shortly after I graduated and are now doing whatever it is fraternities do inside of it. I enjoy this fact.

  • flyb

    I want that. And a hearse.

  • Robster

    It would make a great casino!

  • Godlesspanther

    After taking out all the pews, you will have a lot of room where the pews used to be, and you wont have to take out your garbage for an extra special long time.

  • Andrew S. Balfour

    That’s not far outside Winnipeg. Less than a two hour drive from where I’m sitting. If only I wasn’t the polar opposite of fiscally solvent.

  • Len

    Less guilt and less gilt.

  • Andrew S. Balfour

    This is Canada we’re talking about. Everything has a North. Especially since the vast majority of us live within 100km of our Southern border.

  • pagansister

    It would make a great residence—always thought it would be neat to live in a former church building. :-)

  • Rob Bos

    Yep. Vancouver, here. Just getting in a dig at Winnipeg.

  • Neeroc

    There was a gorgeous one that we pass on the way to our family cottage in la belle province, we missed the sale and it still makes me sad. We’ve got a few in the ‘burbs where I live. The burbs sprung up around rural communities and often the church (now homes) and an odd farm house were the only things that were saved.