Opus 32, 1989



5-Super octave2′21-Gemshorn2′
6-Cornet (mounted)V22-Quinte1 1/3′
24-Rohrschalmei Tremolo8′



8-Viole8′ 25-Principal16'
9-Viole celeste8′ 26-Subbass16′
10-Gedackt flute8′ 27-Gedeckt16′
11-Spitzprincipal4′ 28-Octave8′
13-Plein jeuV30-Choral bass4′
14-Fagotto16′ 31-MixtureIV
15-Trumpet8′ 32-Fagotto16′
16-Clarion Tremolo4′33-Trumpet8′

  • The 16’ Posaune Pedal Reeds were added in 2016.
  • Inaugural recital by David MacDonald, November 14, 1989

In January 1986, the annual meeting of the congregation authorized the establishment of an organ fund, as well as a sub-committee which was to prepare a report with specifications and costs for a replacement organ. In June of that year, the executive of the Official Board authorized that sub-committee to discuss specifications and prices with organ builders.

During the summer of 1986, Carman H. Milligan, organist emeritus of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, was brought in as a consultant and, in conjunction with Dennis Punter, drew up specifications for a three-manual, electro-magnetic pipe organ. One of the important elements of that design was that, because of space limitations in the chancel, the pipes for one manual would be placed in the gallery at the back of the sanctuary.

On the basis of these specifications, tentative proposals were sought and received from four leading Canadian organ builders. Armed with this information, the sub-committee report and recommendations were submitted to the congregational meeting in February 1987, which approved, in principle, the procurement of a pipe organ, at a total cost not to exceed $295,000.00.

That meeting also authorized the creation of an Organ Project Team to prepare a financial plan and report to a special congregational meeting before the end of June 1987. During April and May, the Organ Project Team, chaired by Keith Harris, conducted a campaign that raised more than $215,000.00 in pledges. In light of such strong support for the project, the congregational meeting approved the call for tenders on a pipe organ.

The successful bidder was Guilbault-Therien Inc. of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, and a contract for the construction of the organ was signed with that firm in November 1987. Installation began in early August 1989, and the final voicing and tuning was completed in October.

The transformation of Rideau Park United Church has both delighted and astonished the congregation. The inspiring Rose Window is the centrepiece of the stained oak casings that house most of the 2,456 pipes. Façade pipes are mounted on the panels, and the acid-treated copper gleams as the sunshine filters in during Sunday worship services. The gallery organ in the balcony features the same oak, and blends beautifully with the existing woodwork.

The organ has three manuals and pedal, with 35 stops in four divisions. The console features ebony and bone-capped rosewood keys, draw-knob stop action, and electronic switching for manual and pedal action. The tonal specification is designed to meet the many musical needs at Rideau Park – leading the congregation in worship, accompanying choirs and soloists, supporting handbells and instruments, and, of course, giving broad scope for organ works.

The 16’ Posaune Pedal Reeds were added in 2016.