Contributed by Constance Dilley
The largest pipe organ in all of Canada reigns on the corner of Church St. and Queen, inside the Metropolitan United Church. With over 8,000 pipes and hundreds of kilometres of electrical wiring, it’s a magnificent instrument which everyone is invited to come and hear. Both sacred and secular music is on offer.
The console itself has five manual keyboards, which is very unusual, and a sixth keyboard is made by the foot pedals. To play the organ is to be an athlete of the first order. The pipes range in length from very short, less than an inch tall, to very long—32 feet long. The shorter the pipe, the higher the note. Most are mounted at the front of the church, but there’s a smaller group on the back wall. Needless to say, the sound is gorgeous.
There are both recitals and sacred services. Every Thursday, Noon at Met offers a musical recital and usually it’s an organ recital. From 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. you’re invited to sit in this heritage Sanctuary, relax and enjoy the music. Bring a lunch if you’re pressed for time. After the regular church services (11:00 a.m. every Sunday), visitors can sit up front under the pipes in the Chancel and listen to the organ postludes. Seldom do listeners get so near or hear so well. Afterwards, a docent can show off the organ if you’re interested, explaining just how it all works.
Metropolitan United Church is an affirming congregation and all are welcome. For more information, see Metunited.org or call 416 363-0331, extension 26. The latter is the number of Dr. Patricia Wright, Minister of Music.