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

  • Presidential inaugural committee 'blatantly' enriched Trump family: D.C. attorney general

    World News CBC News
    The District of Columbia is suing U.S. President Donald Trump's inaugural committee and two companies that control the Trump International Hotel in the nation's capital, accusing them of throwing parties for the Trump family with non-profit funds, and overpaying for event space at the hotel. Source
  • Survivor recounts confused, chaotic cult rite that killed 7

    World News CTV News
    SANTIAGO, PANAMA -- A survivor of the cult ceremony that killed her daughter and six other people in a remote village in Panama says she was ordered to close her eyes, was beaten and knocked unconscious during the ritual. Source
  • Former soldier, alleged neo-Nazi Patrik Mathews denied bail in U.S.

    Canada News CTV News
    GREENBELT, MD. -- Former Canadian army reservist and accused white supremacist Patrik Mathews was denied bail following an appearance this morning in a U.S. court. Mathews and two other men were arrested last week after the former combat engineer disappeared from his residence in Manitoba amid allegations he was a recruiter for a white-supremacist called The Base. Source
  • Man wins new sex assault trial over poor Swahili-English translation

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A man convicted of sexually assaulting his wife has won a new trial because of problems with the Swahili interpreter he was provided. In overturning his conviction, an Ontario Superior Court justice found the interpreter's incompetence and the trial judge's failure to address the situation breached the man's charter rights. Source
  • Unprovoked shark attacks drop worldwide, but not in the U.S.

    World News CTV News
    GAINESVILLE, FLA. -- Unprovoked shark attacks around the world decreased last year, although they rose in the United States, according to researchers. There were 64 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks worldwide last year, compared to the most recent five-year-average of 82 unprovoked attacks, according to researchers with the International Shark Attack File. Source
  • Worker in Ohio dies after falling into vat of acid, officials investigate

    World News CTV News
    DAYTON, OHIO -- A worker fell into a chemical vat at a business in Ohio and died, authorities said. Dana Swisher, 60, of Union, fell into the vat at Techmetals Inc. on Tuesday, Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Source
  • UN experts: Jeff Bezos phone hack shows link to Saudi prince

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- The phone of Amazon billionaire and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked after receiving a file sent from an account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, United Nations experts alleged Wednesday. Source
  • Justice minister calls for tougher penalties to address 'crime crisis' in rural Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta’s Justice Minister is expected to focus in on rural crime in a meeting with his provincial, territorial and federal counterparts in Victoria, B.C. Wednesday. In a letter sent to federal Justice Minister & Attorney General David Lametti in December, Doug Schweitzer wants to see amendments to the criminal code to tackle “skyrocketing” crime rates in many of Alberta’s rural communities. Source
  • Indigenous pipeline supporters slam human-rights advocates over Coastal GasLink stance

    Canada News CBC News
    A collective of First Nations who support the liquefied natural gas industry in British Columbia say human rights advocates failed to do their research when they called for the Coastal GasLink pipeline project to be halted. The First Nations LNG Alliance has issued open letters to the B.C. Source
  • Attacking coyote that was strangled by victim had rabies

    World News CTV News
    CONCORD, N.H. -- A coyote that was strangled by a man after attacking his child had rabies, and it may not be the only one, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Police said they believe the coyote attacked a vehicle on a road in Hampton Falls, bit a 62-year-old woman and her dogs on a porch in Kensington and then attacked a family walking on a trail in Exeter on Monday. Source