Holy Rosary Cathedral - History and Facts | History Hit

Holy Rosary Cathedral

Vancouver, Canada

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About Holy Rosary Cathedral

Holy Rosary Cathedral, is a late 19th-century French Gothic revival church that serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Holy Rosary Cathedral history

The parish was established in June 1885 and Father Patrick Fay, the chaplain to Canadian Pacific Railway workers, was chosen as pastor. As Fay was transferred in 1892 and sadly died shortly after, Father Eumellin succeeded him in overseeing the plan for construction from 1893 to 1897. Then, the new pastor of the church, Father James McGuckin, took over the project.

Official construction of the cathedral began in 1899 on the site of an earlier church by the same name. It was opened on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, 1900, and was regarded as the “finest piece of architecture west of Toronto and north of San Francisco.”

The church was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1916 and is now listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register as a legally protected building.

Holy Rosary Cathedral today

The cathedral, built in a French Gothic style is cruciform in the shape of the Latin cross. The exterior walls of the church were built from sandstone originating from Gabriola Island, while its foundations were made of granite. The two bell towers – which are asymmetric – have been labelled as the cathedral’s “most prominent visual feature”.

Today, the Cathedral’s pastor is Archbishop Michael Miller, chief shepherd of Vancouver’s 430,000 Catholics since January 2009, who has been part of the city’s religious landscape since 2007, when Pope Benedict XVI named him Coadjutor Archbishop.

Getting to Holy Rosary Cathedral

Right in the centre of downtown Vancouver, Holy Rosary Cathedral is hard to miss and very easy to get to.

The Cathedral is located at 646 Richards St, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 3A3. If travelling by car, Holy Rosary Cathedral is but a half hour drive from Vancouver Airport and a 2 minute drive from W George Street.

If travelling by Metro, take the Expo Line to Granville Station or the Canada Line to Waterfront Station – both a 5 minute walk away.

There are multiple parking bays located within a short walk of the Cathedral.

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