Open House event, Saturday, Aug. 10

The Madill Church Preservation Society invites you to take a look inside one of Muskoka’s oldest churches.

The preservation society is once again hosting an open house at the historic Madill Church, located at 254 Old Muskoka Rd., offering members of the public the opportunity to meet the board members. The public can ask questions about the restoration and preservation efforts, and get a glimpse inside one of the few square-timbered structures left in the province.

The open house will take place on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Madill Church Preservation Society totes, T-shirts and prints will be available for purchase, with all the proceeds going toward the organization’s preservation efforts.

If you would like to donate to the cause and are unable to attend the event, you can do so online via e-transfer to or through PayPal. Cheques can be made payable to Madill Church Preservation Society c/o Donna Collins, 371 Old Muskoka Rd., Huntsville, Ont., P1H 2J2.

Donations of $25 and higher are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.

MCPS successfully obtains charitable status

We are happy to announce that earlier this year the Canada Revenue Agency approved our application for charitable status. This means that we can now issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes.

Moving forward, our goals in our quest for preservation include:

  • Replace foundation (estimated cost of $20,000)
  • New roof (estimated cost of $10,000)
  • Replacement of some – or all – of the exterior eave boards
  • Remove the vestibule and place on a similar foundation as the church
  • Log restoration and replacement
  • Replace chinking
  • Replace chimney

In total, MCPS has set a fundraising target of $70,000 to meet these goals.

The main focus for summer 2019 is the foundation and roof – a combined cost of more than $30,000.

The Madill Church Preservation Society relies solely on the support and donations of community members, interested individuals, local businesses and organizations to enable our ongoing efforts.

Your generous support makes everything we do possible.

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so online via Paypal or sending an e-transfer to our email at Alternatively, all cheques can be made payable to the Madill Church Preservation Society c/o Donna Collins at 371 Old Muskoka Road, Huntsville, ON. P1H 2J2.

Tax receipts can be issued to all donations over $25.

Candelight Tribute Ceremony at Madill Church, Nov. 11.


On Sunday, Nov. 11, the Madill Church Preservation Society will be hosting a candlelight tribute ceremony at the Madill Cemetery in remembrance of those who fought in both the First and Second world wars to protect peace and freedom, both at home and around the world.

The Madill Church Preservation Society was incorporated as charity organization in November 2017 with the purpose of protecting and preserving the church through restoration. Prior to its incorporation, the fate of the historic 145-year-old square timber church was uncertain with the United Church of Canada having no further use for the building.

To avoid detracting or competing with nearby local remembrance activities and ceremonies, the preservation society will be hosting a candlelight tribute ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11 starting at 3:30 p.m. This will allow attendees to view the church and walk about the cemetery, if they so choose. The ceremony will officially start at 4 p.m.

The idea was inspired by Veterans Affairs Canada, which reports such ceremonies began in 1995 when the people of the Netherlands held a special ceremony to commemorate their liberation by Canadian forces fifty years earlier.

The ceremony will last for approximately 40 minutes. Cadets with the 844 Norseman Royal Canadian Air Cadets will be taking part in the ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, battery-operated candles placed in red holders will be placed on the graves of the 27 veterans buried in the cemetery by cadets, board members and attendees who wish to do so.

All donations accepted at this event will go towards the Last Post Fund, a nonprofit funeral and burial program, which ensures that eligible veterans receive dignified funeral and burial services.

Second open house and en plein air fundraising event resounding success!


Summer wrap-up & falling into Muskoka autumn

We know we’ve said it before but we’ll say it again – the generosity and support from those near and far is absolutely overwhelming. Last Sunday, Sept. 16, we held our second open house event, along with an en plein air fundraiser. Seven local artists joined us at the church where they painted their rendition of Madill Church right there on the church grounds. Each piece was unique to each artist.

“I was amazed at the number of artists who expressed interest in participating in our en plein air event,” said society board member Paige Phillips. “The final products are just fabulous and all are so unique to each artist. We can’t thank them enough for their time and support.”

The completed canvases will be made into prints, along with cards, available for purchase. All proceeds will go towards the preservation and restoration of the church.


Again, event patrons braved the mid-September heat – along with the artists who painted diligently for an average of five hours – to attend the event. In total, we raised more than $550 on Sunday and we thank you for your generosity.

This time around we had visits from Town of Huntsville/District of Muskoka councillors Brian Thompson and Nancy Alcock. We thank them for their attendance and ongoing support.

We are still waiting on charitable tax status from the government but are hopeful it will arrive any day. If you do not require a tax receipt, online donations can be sent via e-transfer to or through PayPal. Cheques can be made payable to Madill Church Preservation Society c/o Donna Collins at 371 Old Muskoka Road, Huntsville, ON. P1H 2J2.

IMG_3750.jpgOur next board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 11 where one of our agenda items is fall and winter fundraising initiatives. Stay tuned!

Be sure to follow us on online at our Facebook page!

Open House & En Plein Air Fundraiser, Sunday, Sept. 16

A busy first summer for Madill Church Preservation Society!


We’ve had a busy summer! As you may recall, back in mid-July we hosted our first ever open house at the church, which marked the first time in more than two years since the public was granted access inside the church walls. For many, it was the first time they graced through the church doors, despite calling the area home for decades. It was an exceptional inaugural event for our organization.

Then, in mid-August we took part in the Huntsville BIA’s downtown sidewalk sale where we raised more than $700 in purchases of custom Madill Church Preservation Society totes, shirts, limited prints and donations to go towards our restoration and preservation efforts.


After our first open house event we heard from many that they would have liked to attend; however, were unable due to personal conflicts or short notice. With this in mind, coupled with the overwhelming success and support of the open house and the sidewalk sale, we quickly began work on organizing a second open house event for the fall.

This Sunday, Sept. 16 we will host our second open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will be able to view the inside of the church, speak with society board of directors and observe nearly a dozen artists completing their rendition of the church in an en plein air art session. Local artists will be set up on the ground surrounding the church painting on site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Their finished works will be available for purchase in prints, cards and other materials. All proceeds will go towards our preservation and restoration efforts.

Over the summer we also applied for charitable status so that we will be able to issue charitable tax receipts to donors. We are still waiting to hear back.

If you do not require a receipt, donations can be made payable to Madill Church Preservation Society c/o Donna Collins at 371 Old Muskoka Road, Huntsville, ON. P1H 2J2. E-transfers can be sent to

We truly appreciate your ongoing support. Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts by emailing us at the above address.


Thank you for attending our Open House event – watch for number two!

Thanks to you, our Open House event last Sunday was a huge success! Over 60 donors, community members, historical buffs and supporters attended the event. It was so nice to catch up with old friends and to see some new faces.

In addition to touring the church – after being closed to the public for almost two years – our supporters were able to get an up-to-date account of what we’ve been up to for the past year, hear the challenges we face, shared what the church meant to them and were able to purchase Madill Church Preservation Society totes.

“To see so many people enthusiastic about our cause and eager to help us in any way they can – despite the heat last Sunday – was really encouraging to all of us,” MCPS president Carolynn MacKay

To make our debut event even more exciting, Liz Rice with the Huntsville Doppler stopped by. In addition to touring the church and talking to some attendees, she interviewed our president Carolynn MacKay and wrote a great article chronicling
our journey so far and our current goals. Check out the news story here.

We also had a visit from a couple of councillors with the Town of Huntsville and we thank councillors Bob Stone and Jason Fitzgerald for their attendance and ongoing support.

“The response to our open house event was truly overwhelming,” said MacKay. “To see so many people enthusiastic about our cause and eager to help us in any way they can – despite the heat last Sunday – was really encouraging to all of us.”

We recognize that many others wanted to attend the event unable to attend.

With this in mind, coupled with the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of attendees, we will be hosting a second open house in the fall. Date yet to be determined.

We truly appreciate your support. Please let us know if you have any questions, thoughts or would like to make a donation at

Follow us on online at our Facebook page and on our website at



An update on Madill Church happenings

The Madill Church Preservation Society is in the process of applying for charitable status so that we can provide tax receipts for donations, however this is taking a bit longer than we anticipated it would. In the meantime, there is lots of work that needs doing before another winter is upon us.

The priority items are: a new foundation and a new roof – it is estimated that these will cost about $30,000.

The plan for the foundation is to lift the church and put in a proper cement/block foundation behind the existing stacked stone. This will likely also require some replacement of the support beams beneath the church and re-stacking of the dry stone foundation. Depending upon what material donations we might get, this project is estimated to come in around $20,000.

The plan for the roof is to remove the existing roof which is supported by 2 X 6s laid flat (on the six inch width rather than laid on the 2 inch width) and put trusses in their place while maintaining the original look of the church. Then depending upon the funds available, re-roof with either shingles or steel. The cost of this project is estimated to be a minimum of $10,000 … but until we take the existing roof off it is hard to have an accurate estimate as it depends on what we might find.

In addition to these projects, we will need to replace some or all of the exterior boards in the eaves of the church as there are holes and they have weathered to the point of thinness and wearing away. We will have to remove the vestibule and replace it on a similar foundation as the church building (it has pulled away from the church and is on a bit of an angle). Some of its boards may also need some replacing.

As well, there may be some logs that either need to be restored or replaced. Certainly the chinking needs replacing. Finally, we need to fix the chimney – although we would not likely use the wood stove – it is original to the church and the chimney very likely needs to be replaced.

So the MCPS has set a fund raising target of $70,000. The United Church did provide us with $10,000 and the Town of Huntsville reimbursed $2,000 of the total cost of land transfer/legal fees. After insurance and incorporation costs and a few incidentals, the MCPS has a little over $8,000 in the bank.

If you are interested in making a donation and do not want/need a tax receipt, let us know by sending an email to

In the meantime, we are planning an open house at the church on Sunday, July 15th so that you can reacquaint yourself with the Madill Church and we can show you what needs to be done.

Please join us on Sunday, July 15th between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.


Carolynn MacKay,

President of the Madill Church Preservation Society

Madill in 2018

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Hello Fellow Supporters of the Madill Church,

I am writing to you today to give you a quick update on progress of The Madill Church Preservation Society. First, I’d like to introduce the Madill Church Preservation Society Inaugural Board, as voted in at the August 17, 2017 meeting.

Carolynn MacKay – President
Anne Collins – Vice President
Donna Collins – Treasurer
Lynda McLeod – Secretary
Barry Groomes – Director
Keith Collins – Director
Paige Phillips – Director
Cynthia Hampton – Director

Since its establishment August 17th, the Board has been very busy establishing the foundation documents required for incorporation including development of by-laws, exploring the requirements to obtain charitable status and considering the best approach to establishing a strong general membership. In September the Board members were provided access to the Madill Church to consider the structural concerns that will need to be addressed in both the short and long term.

The Board has made the decision to incorporate as a separate non-profit corporation under the umbrella of the Ontario Historic Society (OHS) and as of November 21st we are officially incorporated.

The constitutional purpose of the corporation is:
· To protect and preserve a significant heritage site by restoring and maintaining the Madill Church and its surrounding land that commemorate the site for present and future generations.
· To undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above charitable purpose.

The association with the OHS comes with a number of benefits including assistance in getting charitable status, networking with other organizations that have/are doing similar work to ours and some possible efficiencies in terms of insurance costs. We are grateful to Rob Leverty of the Ontario Historic Society for all his support and assistance.

We are also now ‘keeper of the key’. Our next steps will be to pursue the official transfer of the actual land and building (and promised church funds) and begin the process of obtaining charitable status; as well as a project plan and budget… oh yes, and fundraising! In addition we are trying to get some communications sorted out (e.g. a Madill Church Preservation Society website, newsletter) – but as we all have day jobs, it does take some time. In the meantime, for those that have Facebook accounts you can check out the Madill Church Preservation Society Facebook Group. Thank you to Ruby Truax for her assistance setting this up.

Thank you for your continued support and interest. All the best for the holidays and New Year.


Carolynn, MCPS president