With a few turns of the shovel, a recent ground-breaking ceremony cleared the way for construction on the new Salvation Army Barrhaven Church in Ottawa.

The new 18,000-square-foot building will serve not only as a place of worship and fellowship for The Salvation Army, but also as a welcoming community hub for neighbourhood events.

The building will be open to anyone, with a large, multipurpose worship space, a commercial kitchen and public meeting rooms. Phase two of construction will include a gymnasium and auditorium for community recreation, while the final phase will include a worship centre built on the two-hectare property.

A group of people receive snacks from a Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services truck
An emergency disaster services van hands out snacks and beverages

Barrhaven’s new home will have a contemporary and modern feel, and will be an open and safe venue where people of all ages can gather for meetings, programs, classes, community initiatives, recreation and worship.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson attended the ground-breaking event to welcome The Salvation Army to Barrhaven.

“Thank you for your perseverance, your great vision for this community in opening this up, not just for your parish and parishioners, but for the broader community,” said Mayor Watson.

Major Chris Rideout, divisional secretary mission resources, Ontario Division, delivered a blessing and dedication of the property to have God watch and protect everyone who uses the building.

“With this incredible building you will finally have that community hub that you can invite people into. You can now dream even bigger dreams to being a partner in building a community that is just and knows the love of Jesus,” said Major Rideout.

Photos: Barbara d’Oro

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