(above) Breaking ground on the new Salvation Army building in Ajax, Ont. From left, Mjr Christopher Rideout, AC, Ont. CE Div; Greg McInnes, assistant executive director, CJS, Toronto; Cpt Jason Sabourin, CO, Hope CC; Jerry Coughlan; Mjr Isobel Wagner, learning development co-ordinator; Mjr Mark Wagner, corps ministries secretary; and Cpts Jodi and Mark Dunstan, DYSs, Ont. CE Div

Christmas came early for The Salvation Army in Ajax, Ont., as Salvation Army leaders, local politicians, Salvationists and friends gathered in December for the official ground-breaking for a new building.

The Salvation Army Hope Church and Jerry Coughlan Community Services Centre—named after local housing developer, Jerry Coughlan, who generously donated $2 million to the project in 2015—will provide a completely integrated missional space to serve the Hope congregation and communities of Ajax, Pickering and Uxbridge, Ont. Construction will begin this spring with an estimated completion date of fall 2021.

The new 20,000 square-foot two-storey building replaces the former corps/administration building and quarters. The increased space will allow for the expansion of current community support services, including client advocacy, employment assistance and emergency food, household provision programs and pastoral care, as well as the ability to host multiple worship gatherings. Overall, it will enable the Army to better assist vulnerable and marginalized families and individuals of all ages.

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