Situated high on a hill overlooking the Village of Hastings, the Grand Maple Event Centre greets visitors with elegance and history. Formerly the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the building dates back to 1897 when the original foundation stone was laid. Home to a thriving congregation for well over a century, in recent years the congregation dwindled to the point where the expenses were no longer manageable, and the church closed its doors in 2017.
This is the sad story of many historic churches these days. However, this former place of worship has been given a new life! Creating a one-of-a-kind space for hosting a variety of events has been a long-time dream for Trent Hills residents Bill and Catherine Ma. For many years, they have driven past the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Hastings, Ontario and always admired the historic building. When the church went on the real estate market in 2017, they were immediately intrigued.
"When the church became available, we knew right away this project belonged to us. We have been business owners in the area for decades, so we know how to plan and manage a successful enterprise. The project of restoring this beautiful old church, however, was something new and exciting.”, Bill Ma.
Maintaining the original architecture and craftsmanship of the church was very important to the couple. “We worked with what was there, to make it better without destroying the history. As a result, we have a nice blend of the past and present”, Catherine explains.
The project involved removing pews, replacing antiquated fixtures with chandeliers, levelling floors, restoring wood architectural features, restoring stained glass windows, installing plumbing and electricity, updating a commercial kitchen, adding an accessibility elevator, sound system and more!
They worked hard for well over a year on the transformation. With a focus on restoration and the repurposing of elements where possible, they have kept the historic look and feel of the building, while tastefully adding a touch of modern ambiance.
For images of the transformation in process, visit the Our Story page on the Grand Maple website.
The Finished Masterpiece:
The ‘wow’ factor is undeniable upon entering the Grand Maple. History and modern elegance blend together in Trent Hills’ most original event venue. Featuring light-soaked stained-glass windows, a magnificent chandelier gracing a soaring ceiling, original woodwork and exquisite architectural details — it is the perfect setting for truly unforgettable events.
The Grand Maple can host events for up to 200 people, or smaller intimate affairs for as few as 45 people. The space makes for beautiful weddings ceremonies and receptions. It can also host performances, corporate events, photo shoots, holiday parties, celebrations of life and more.
Bill and Catherine invite you to experience the Grand Maple with a virtual or in-person tour — to arrange a time contact them via email or phone at 705-922-2106.
Or, for a sneak peek, view the Grand Maple video tour.