Christ Church Cathedral stands in the heart of the commercial and shopping centre of Montreal. It is a stone's throw from McGill University, one of the major universities of the city. Since the development of the late eighties, the Cathedral is linked with a shopping mall and an office tower, which are in turn linked with the McGill Metro station, and the underground city of Montreal. The Cathedral's Google Map
An Anglican ministry first began in Montreal in 1760. Up to 1814, the Anglican Christian community met in several chapels of the Roman Catholic Church. The first of these was the former church of the Recollet (Franciscan) Order.
The first church built specifically as Christ Church was opened in 1814. It stood on Notre Dame Street in what is now the Old City of Montreal. In 1850, when the Diocese of Montreal was separated from that of Quebec, Christ Church was made its cathedral, the seat of the Bishop and the mother church of the new diocese. Six years later a fire destroyed this building. All that was saved was the painting of the Last Supper, which hung behind the altar. It can now be seen above the Canons' stalls in the present building.
The present Cathedral was completed in 1859. It is an imposing neo-Gothic building, designed by British architect Frank Wills.
In 1987, some older buildings north of the Cathedral were demolished, and the land leased to developers who built the landmark office tower and underground mall known as La Place de La Cathédrale. The Cathedral was also secured to the bedrock below, standing on steel and concrete 'caissons', and the space beneath it now houses a shopping mall and restaurants. See the development page for more information and pictures.
The diocese and Cathedral share office space in the KPMG tower, while beneath the forecourt, the Undercroft houses the Cathedral's Sunday School, Drop-In centre and music practice rooms.
Over a period of eight years in the 1990's the exterior stone work of the Cathedral was restored, and about half of the stained glass rebuilt. The total cost of this work has been more that $2.5 million, but it has been generously supported by the Québec government through the Québec Religious Heritage Foundation, and by the Federal government through infrastructure grants.
In 2001 the City of Montreal provided a scheme of exterior lighting for the Cathedral, a gift for the 150th anniversary of the Diocese the previous year.
Repainting of the interior of the Cathedral was begun in 2005. Still to be done are the Nave and side aisles.
2009 is the 150th anniversary of the present Cathedral. We hope to complete the restoration of the stained glass windows, as our congregational gift to the building.
The next major infrastructure work will be to strengthen the steel supports of the tower, which may cost as much as $2 million. If you are able to help us we would be glad to hear from you!