The resurrection of Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral

Downtown’s oldest surviving stone structure was in need of a few repairs

When the colossal labyrinth of scaffolding comes down at Christ Church Cathedral later this year, a 20-year, $20-million-plus renovation will finally be complete. Projects have included everything from landscaping to a new pipe organ, but the most visible upgrade of all came last: the new roof. “Every great city has a great cathedral,” says Peter Elliott, dean and rector of the church. And every great cathedral, presumably, needs a great roof.The Holy TrinityIn addition to the new roof, this latest round of renovations includes a new kitchen and bell tower, which should be up by fall. The cost for all three comes in at $9 million, with $6.6 million of that having been raised as of December. The province pitched in $1 million.`Cathedral with Bell Tower - Sarah Hall Studio - Oct 2014Sarah Hall StudioBetter with AgeBuilt in 1889, the Christ Church Cathedral at Burrard and W. Georgia is downtown Vancouver’s oldest surviving stone structure. Not surprisingly, it’s also a heritage building, which means that significant alterations aren’t allowed (maintenance renovations like this one aside).MKPhoto-0542A Much Thicker SkinOld, asbestos-covered shingles were removed and will be replaced with a new zinc roof the church says could last up to a century. Also added was a steel frame, one of many seismic upgrades the church has received in recent years. Removal of lead-contaminated dust, dislodged during demolition, added an unexpected $1 million to the cost._MG_9024