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Timothy Eaton Memorial Church - Toronto

Casavant Opus 583 (1914)

Five Manuals/101 Ranks – 95 Stops over 8 divisions, 6,120 Pipes

2014 – 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the installation of Casavant Frères organ, Opus 583 at TEMC.  

In 1914, Casavant Frères of St-Hyacinthe, Quebec installed a French-styled 86-stop 4-manual instrument in the north west transept of the cruciform church at the gallery level to the east of the choir. In response to complaints about this location from congregation, choir and organist the architect consulted noted American organ builder E.M. Skinner, who found the “workmanship fine and first class – but the organ did not sound right.” During early revisions the organ took on several American ingluences, including several voicings and stops in the tradition of Hope-Jones.

In 1938, the organ was moved to two new chambers located on either side of the chancel: Swell, Choir, the combined Solo/Bombarde and Pedal reeds in the west, and Great and Pedal in the east.

The next revolution in organ building, the years of the “Organ Reform” of the post-World War II period, saw no tonal changes except for the addition of two mutation ranks in 1952, but at the same time, the current 5-manual console was installed and the Solo and Bombarde divisions were separated. In 1962 the original 15hp wooden Casavant blower was replaced and the organ chest actions, re-leathered.

In 1985, electro-pneumatic key action relays and switching were replaced with SSL electronics and all the original combination machines were replaced with SSL multi-level electronics. 

When revisions proposed in 1989 were begun, another organ reform movement was already underway and the organ turned again toward the French late-Romantic style in which it was first conceived.

So the stylistic turnaround from French to French was complete, and what started out as a near disaster became one of Toronto’s more glorious venues for organ and choral music. From Organs of Toronto, Jackson/Bailey 2002.

 In honour of one century and anticipating its next the TEMC organ will undergo a major refurbishment/expansion project between 2014 and 2016.



230 St. Clair Ave. West
Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1R5


Casavant Opus 583 (1914)