An Interesting Building : St. Mary’s Church

There is this church I walk by quite often, called St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, located on Bathurst Street at Adelaide. It’s steeple has been covered in scaffolding for what seems to be more than a year. All the effort being made to repair it indicated it was an important building, causing me to look into it further to see what the history of it was.

It turns out that the cornerstone was laid in 1881, with the spire having been completed in 1905. The style of the building is Gothic Revival and features rose windows. It was designed by a famous architect specializing in churches at the time, Joseph Connelly, who died before the steeple was completed, therefore his assistant finished the project according to his specifications. It was one of the first catholic churches to have been built to the west of the city core, in order to minister to the Irish immigrants who, at that time, were moving into that area of the city. It has since changed to a following that is primarily Portuguese, and I understand that several of the masses are given in Portuguese. During one week-end in the spring the whole neighbourhood is effected by street closures because they have a parade through the streets and a huge festival on the grounds of the church.

Anyway, seeing that a pretty major reconstruction was going on here, I began taking photos of it when I passed by, in the hopes that I’d be able to show you the whole process of the scaffolding coming down and the big reveal. However, since it is taking such a long time to complete the project, and my first pictures will be very stale if I were to wait to post them, I thought I’d show you what I have so far. I will follow-up on this post and show more works in progress, and the end result, once it is completed.

Last month they took down some of the cover to reveal the copper spire.

Here is an old photograph that I found, that was taken some time in the 60s.

I am not religious, though I do quite like religious art and will sometimes display it here. If you’d like to see my photos and discussion on other historic buildings in Toronto, please take a peek within my ‘Interesting Buildings’ category in the list on the right hand side of the page.

Thank you for your visit. I hope your week is off to an excellent start!