METROPOLITAN UNITED’S MASSIVE PIPE ORGAN – 500 MILES OF WIRING AND 7,840 PIPES

organ2To play it, you need to be an athlete of the first order. The console has five manual keyboards, and a sixth is made by the foot pedals. The pipes range in length from very short, less than an inch tall, to very long – up to 32 feet. Most are mounted at the front of the church.

organ3This instrument, the largest pipe organ in Canada, was installed in TORONTO’s Metropolitan United Church in 1929-30, two years after a raging fire turned much of the church into an “icebound skeleton”.

organ1Every Thursday at noon, the Met offers a musical recital and usually it’s an organ recital, 12:15 to 12:45 pm. After regular Sunday services visitors can sit up front under the pipes and listen to the organ postludes. A docent will explain just how the organ works. For more information – http://www.Metunited.org
Instagram photo of the exterior by barbara_cifra (INK361) & info contributed by Contance Dilley, http://www.pstreetnews.com

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One thought on “METROPOLITAN UNITED’S MASSIVE PIPE ORGAN – 500 MILES OF WIRING AND 7,840 PIPES

  1. I tuned and worked on this organ for many years. The interior is mind-boggling, pipes everywhere, ladders, platforms, vintage, plug in service lamps for tuning and servicing the organ……. and a peculiar, pleasant smell once your inside one of the two organ chambers, especially the East chamber where the first room entered takes you down a ladder into an area that was once full of electric-pneumatic low voltage DC switching, relays and remote contacts along with, what amounted to a mechanical programable computer for retaining the memory of the organ consoles numerous stop combinations. It was all made of wood, leather, felt, waxed cloth covered copper wires, phosphor bronze contact surfaces and all of it activated by electricity and forced air from the massive organ blowers in the Church basement. But it’s all gone and the wires now terminate into a very small and custom built digital electronic board. But beyond this room the rest of the East organ chamber is unchanged from 1930. An incredible,sight are the largest and lowest pitched pipes of the pedal organs 32 foot open diapason. The organ chamber is about 25 feet high and the largest 6 or 7 pipes of this stop are mitered as there’s not enough ceiling height to contain them. They’re wood and they are absolutely massive. The wood is almost 3 inches thick, I believe it’s fir and its the straightest grained material to be found on the planet. There’s not a knot in any of them and the largest pipe has a dimensional interior of about 18 square feet. It’s a shame that there’s almost no natural lighting in the organ chambers and the artificial light is completely insufficient. Serious consideration should be given to at least producing a panoramic set of photographs of the organs many chambers. I have much more to write but not nearly enough time to write. Thanks for reading.

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