Historic Vancouver church gets massive renovation

Tucked beneath a maze of metal scaffolding, the Christ Church Cathedral looks more like the Sagrada Familia -- Barcelona's famous perpetual construction site and Antoni Gaudi-designed Catholic church -- than Vancouver's historic landmark.

See Full Article

At 126 years old, the Anglican cathedral is the city's oldest surviving stone church and a designated heritage site.

Christ Church Cathedral

But the building has fallen into disrepair over the years, necessitating significant renovations that have hidden much of it from the public for months.

Peter Elliott, the church's rector, says the building has been off limits for good reason.

"Over the years, there has been what politely gets referred to as ‘deferred maintenance,’ which means there is just stuff you do not deal with," he said.

That includes a complete overhaul of the church's roof, which involves removing it, repairing everything underneath and then replacing it with a new roof.

Christ Church Cathedral

The intricate project involves more than 300 construction workers, many of whom specialize in historic restoration.

Christ Church Cathedral

"We are working off of old drawings. We are working off in -- in some cases -- hand-sketched things that they dig up out of the archives in Vancouver somewhere, and it's a real complex thing," said Darin Hughes, vice president of Scott Construction's B.C. operations.

To further complicate the construction, the cathedral is also receiving an expanded kitchen and a new bell tower, adding an additional 18 metres to its height.

The church has never had bells, but when the renovations are complete there will be four, all custom cast in France and with a lifespan of 500 years.

"Weddings, public events, the Sun Run -- when 50,000 people are on George Street – we can have our bells ringing," said Elliott.

Christ Church Cathedral

Work on the historic church is expected to wrap up by the summer of 2016.

With a report from CTV's Vancouver Bureau Chief Melanie Nagy



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Saudis say they will reopen Yemen's main airport, port for humanitarian aid

    World News CBC News
    The Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen said Wednesday it would allow aid access through the port of Hodeidah and United Nations flights to Sanaa airport. The coalition closed all air, land and sea access to Yemen earlier this month following the interception of a missile fired towards the Saudi capital. Source
  • National inquiry into MMIWG community hearings LIVE

    Canada News CBC News
    David Cassidy, former Partridge Family teen actor, dead at 67 Source
  • Search resumes for dog-walker missing in Coquitlam, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    A dogwalker and three dogs remain unaccounted for in Coquitlam, B.C., after rescue efforts were scaled back overnight due to weather concerns. Annette Poitras, 56, has been missing since Monday afternoon, when she was out walking trails with her own dog and two others in the Coquitlam area on what has been described as an otherwise routine day for owner of the dog-walking business Annette's Doggie Daycare. Source
  • British budget: Precious few goodies as post-Brexit reality will slow growth

    World News CBC News
    Britain's treasury chief has outlined cautious spending plans to a nation bracing for the shock of Britain's departure from the European Union amid a steady worsening in economic forecasts. Philip Hammond revealed Wednesday a deteriorating outlook, as a slowing economy and stubborn deficit mean there is little money to increase public spending in the face of demands from teachers, firefighters and the military. Source
  • Six-year-old girl kills deer under Wisconsin's new hunting rules

    World News CTV News
    MILWAUKEE -- A Wisconsin kindergartener is among the first youngsters to bag a buck under a new law that eliminates the state's minimum hunting age. Lexie Harris, 6, is no stranger to the woods. Source
  • Father stabbed to death was protecting friend: family

    Canada News CTV News
    A man who was stabbed to death in a Calgary home last week has been identified as a Humberto (Robert) Panameno, a father of four who gave his life to save another, according to his family. Source
  • U.S. declares 'ethnic cleansing' against Rohingya in Myanmar

    World News CTV News
    Rohingya Muslims, who spent four days in the open after crossing over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carry their belongings after they were allowed to proceed towards a refugee camp, at Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Oct. 19, 2017. (Dar Yasin/AP) Source
  • Kim Kardashian, Rihanna call for release of child sex slave jailed for murder

    World News CTV News
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne are among a number of celebrities championing the cause of former teen prostitute Cyntoia Brown, who at 16 was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who paid her for sex. Source
  • Liberals' tax proposals still need work despite changes, critics insist

    Canada News CBC News
    A coalition of industry associations says Bill Morneau must make more changes to the controversial tax proposals he first unveiled last summer to ensure he addresses deep, persistent concerns in the small-business community. The group, which came together in recent months as a vocal opponent of the finance minister's tax-reform plan, is urging him to go further — beyond the adjustments he made to calm an uproar that dogged him for months. Source
  • Closing arguments over destruction of gas plants records to be heard today

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Closing arguments are set to be heard today at the Toronto trial of two former senior political aides accused of destroying documents. Defence lawyers will be pushing the Ontario court judge to acquit David Livingston and Laura Miller. Source