Building More Than a Church; Salvation Army in Ajax is Creating a Community

by Caroline Franks
Categories: Divisional News

Two buildings in Ajax have become one to welcome the community into an expanded Salvation Army Hope Church.

The two-storey building currently under construction is just over 20,000 sq. ft. and combines a worship space with a community centre available to any group or organization in need of a place to meet and hold events.

This new building replaces a former administration building and the quarters of Ajax Hope Church Captains Jason and Tammy Sabourin.

“The architecture and the design of this new property is very mission based. You’ll find no sanctuary and there are no pews. The whole building is designed with multi use space in mind,” said Captain Jason.

Worked into a design is a gymnatorium that will be used for church services but can also be repurposed for community use for basketball, theatre performances, worship services or presentations. Sabourin said any group is welcome to rent out spaces in the building.

“We have multi-purposed rooms that can be classrooms, that can be conference break out rooms, they can be used for toy collection at Christmas. When you walk in, it will be a different experience than walking into a traditional church design. This is very much a community centre.”

Included is a café space to hang out, watch sports, browse on a laptop or to meet up with friends or family. There will be a commercial cooking kitchen to hold cooking classes, an onsite Salvation Army food bank and emergency advocacy-based programs.

“The building can be used seven days a week and, in that process, building relationships with people and the community all motivated by the love of Jesus to help transform lives,” Captain Jason explained.

Local Ajax developer Jerry Coughlan kick started the project with a $2 million donation prior to his passing earlier this year. The Ajax Rotary Club donated $65,000 toward the project.

“We are an innovative partner, mobilized to share hope wherever there is hardship, building communities that are just, and we are very grateful for our community partners and generous donors who journeyed with us in developing a community space that will benefit the Ajax community,” said Captain Jason.

Captain Jason expects the building to be completed and open for community use by August 2022. Contributions are still being accepted for the $7.5 million project. Donations can be made online at or by contacting Captain Jason directly.

By Chris McGregor