June 15th, 2024

Church fire that destroyed Group of Seven murals not suspicious at this time: police

By The Canadian Press on June 10, 2024.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at St. Anne's Anglican Church in Toronto's west end on Sunday, June 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Toronto police say a devastating fire at the historic St. Anne’s Anglican Church is not being treated as suspicious at this time, although investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze.

The four-alarm fire ripped through the national historic site on Sunday morning, destroying unique Group of Seven murals inside.

Police and fire marshals are now at the site, as some church staff were seen carrying documents out of the severely damaged building.

The blaze destroyed the church’s domed roof and consumed paintings by three Group of Seven members and other prominent Canadian artists installed along the interior in the 1920s.

There was no one inside the church in the city’s Little Portugal neighbourhood at the time and no injuries were reported.

St. Anne’s rector Father Don Beyers says members of the church community are in shock and grieving but determined to rise from the ashes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

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