Demolition has finally begun on a North Dumfries church, more than a year after a crash caused significant damage to the building’s sanctuary.

On December 8, 2017, an SUV slammed into the side of Roseville United Brethren Church at the corner of Roseville and Fischer-Hallman Road.

Police said the vehicle hit a curb, went airborne and struck the building at a high rate of speed.

The driver, a 62-year-old Kitchener woman, was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was later determined that she had an undiagnosed medical condition and had blacked out.

Pastor Randy Magnus said at least 75% of the church’s 138-year-old sanctuary was unrepairable and would have to be demolished.

They had hoped to have repairs completed by Christmas 2018.

However it wasn’t until Friday that the church got the go-ahead to start demolition.

“It’s taken us just over a year to get all our plans in place to do the building,” said Magnus.

On Saturday more than two dozen parishioners started removing the sanctuary’s brick exterior.

“Next weekend we’re hoping to tear down the structure to make room for the new addition.”

Repairs are expected to cost $1.2 million.

The church has already raised $750,000 towards their goal and they’re hoping to sell the salvaged bricks to make up for some of the shortfall.