Marian Shrine: First Round Goes to Developers

TORONTO – In Business, there self interest is the order of the day. It may be an arcane adage in the field of accounting, but it still captures a fundamental reality that “love makes the world go ‘round, but money sends it spinning”. Greed invariably trumps religion and “kindness”. 

On Sunday, the treasurer and secretary of the Basilian Fathers (Ukrainian Rite), Fr. Zachary, overseeing the dismantling of Shrine (in the pic below and in the video here), gave a demonstration of what Italians of another era defined as extreme “superbia” and “arroganza”. How dare people stand in the way of his legal requirement to proposed Purchasers (AvranceCorp. Developments and 1000331725 Ontario Inc) that he remove potential encumbrances to the transfer of ownership?

Fr. Zachary, Superior General of the Basilian Fathers (watch the video below this article)

After all, the buyer was offering circa $22 million for 13.5 acres of land, including 49,833 sq ft of space (a school building) and $475,905.15 of annual rent payable by the City of Toronto. The lease Agreement is set to expire November 30, 2024; but, according to a City of Toronto, Delegated Approval form, “The City has entered into negotiations with the proposed purchaser […] for an additional four years.” Who knows at what price.

At the very least, the purchaser would be guaranteed approximately 25% of carrying costs – at City expense – for a five-year period from the lease of the school facilities alone while waiting for development approvals. It does not appear that the Basilians looked to other potentially interested buyers who might consider the maintenance of the Shrine in the interim.

Here’s what the “legal team” at AvranceCorp et al responded via e-mail Saturday evening: “This property shall in fact become a private property starting from this week hence access shall be restricted to the Public moving forward. Any trespassers seen on the property shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” (Emphasis added).

Avrancecorp Developments and the CEO Samuel Babarinde

In fact, they proceeded accordingly before the sale was duly registered. Someone [who?] called police to bolster the heavy security already on site to assist in the removal of Shrine assets – on a Sunday of course, when the by-law enforcement office functions primarily as a call center.

There may be a couple of mitigating factors that may cause headaches for the purchasers going forward. One, the address is located on land under the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. Two, there is an outstanding application for Heritage Designation on the old Gardner Mansion/Monastery. It is apparently scheduled for deliberation at next month’s Council meetings.

Anthony Perruzza and Tom Rakocevic

Local Councillor Anthony Perruzza, who along with MPP Tom Rakocevic, was present at Sunday’s community demonstration, attempted to reason with Superior General Zachary (essentially to wait until the “Ts were crossed”) to no avail.

They may have another chance at success.

The video below is from the Marian Shrine, Sunday 20 August: other previous videos are on Corriere Canadese’s YouTube channel.

  1. Thank you Mr Volpe for your well respected concerns ,commentary, and advocacy for what is right.

    Here were my comments on August 20th and since that time more answers have come to light.

    A few years ago the extreme left was responsible for burning church and decapitating catholic statues.
    Today the cancel culture has come from within meaning that the church has been infiltrated.
    The faithful are being attacked by marxist woke cancel culture and now
    the basilian judas priests are cancelling/selling the faith and the
    Marian Shrine for 30 pieces of silver.

    The Shrine is visited 24 7 365 days per year by people who want to pray. That is why Father Basil Cemaliasta created this holy site for all people not just one ethnic or denominational group. There are many healings that have taken place as a result of this shrine.

    They rushed the situation by bullying with only 3 days of notice, did not give
    anyone the option to buy the property. There was no bidding opportunity
    meaning that they could have gotten a higher price . Was there an
    option to find an alternate location from the proceeds of the sale for
    the faithful ? Or find a buyer who would accommodate the existence of
    the shrine. Is there a cut of the proceeds going to the quiet bishops of the various denominations involved ?

    There was no dialogue with the sheeple thinking that they can bamboozle their way into a transaction with intimidating force of paid mall cops and the donut squad.( were they on paid duty?) sort of like the FBI targeting conservative catholics in the US.

    Why did they specifically target the shrine for restricted access versus
    the entire property ? Now they are limiting access to the shrine gates and are ticketing cars in the public parking lot for parking on private property.

    Where are the church leaders from the various denominations and various
    ethnic groups who visit the site. Do they think that the shrine is a competitive threat to their parishes and collection baskets ?

    Where are the politicians ? Federal , provincial and municipal ? Where
    are the law firms ? How about the builders who would loved the opportunity to buy in.

    Where is the media ? Outside of Lifesite news and CP24 where are the
    rest of them? the “mean” street media.

    The Star , The Sun, The Globe, National Post, CFTO, GlobalTV, CBC,
    Am640, CFRB, etc

    Where is the historical society ?

    Church leaders sure do love real estate !!!!!! and the 10% commission they get.

    And lastly, what would the muslim community do or the radical marxist antifa and alphabet people do ?

    I always ask myself what would Jesus do versus what would Tony Soprano do ???? it keeps me grounded.

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