Opus 37, 1991
The reality of what has been the dream of many in this Parish for at least a decade was made reality partly through the enthusiasm of Father Hoult and Gerald Webster, along with John Lawson and a number of other members of the congregation.
The rebuilding was made possible by the generosity of St. Thomas's parishioners through the Let's Celebrate the Place campaign which raised nearly a million dollars for the rebuilding of the instrument, other repairs to the fabric of the building, and the Diocese of Toronto's Faith in Action Campaign.
The original organ for this building was by Samuel Warren, completed in 1891, and incorporating in it some pipes from the 1885 instrument he built for the parish's Sussex Avenue church building. In 1911 Casavant Frères rebuilt the organ and added a Choir division on the north side and replaced the console. In 1955 Casavant built a new console, placed on the north side of the choir, and replaced and added several reed stops to the instrument.
The Great organ at St. Thomas's speaks into the south transept. Its principal chorus is broad and smooth, with gentle mixtures in the 16' and 8' harmonic series. The Violone 16' (and extended Geigen 8') are from the old Warren instrument. The Trompette and Clairon are styled after the 19th century French builder, Cavaillé-Coll, as is the distinctive Flûte Harmonique.
The Choir organ speaks into the choir, and is voiced to be accompanimental, rather than as a classic "positiv" division. A flute cornet and lighter principal chorus are evident here. The Plein Jeu IV is a moderate sound, never becoming shrill. The Clarinet from the old organ was retained. A Rohr Schalmei 4' was added as an additional solo colour.
The Swell organ stands in the northeast corner of the chamber. It is essentially English in style, with smooth principals and reeds which produce more fundamental tone. The old Oboe was revoiced, and the Vox Humana (which lay on the floor of the organ chamber for 35 years!) was restored to add orchestral colour, rather than as a classical French example. Many of the former flute and string pipes were retained in this division. The battery of full-length trumpets recall a bygone era in organ building.
The Pedal organ is built around the Swell box, and includes original pipework in the Subbass 16', Choralbass 4', the mixture and the reeds. Space limitations necessitated some compromises here, which include an extension of the Octave 8' to 16'. An open metal flute at 4' and 2' pitch (Nachthorn and Recorder) provide additional ensemble solo colour as well as a duplexing of the Choir Rohr Schalmei 4'.
Solid State Logic provides the switching combination action for the rebuilt console which retains the original keyboards and pedals. General conbinations and additional reversibles were added, as well as a Great/Choir transfer switch to change the position of these divisions to make performance of French repertoire more convenient. Sixteen levels of memory will allow more creative use of the instrument by parish musicians, students and guests artists.