This cathedral is built in the french gothic style and was designed by architect T.E. Julien of the firm Julien and Williams, architects. It was started on July 16, 1899 when the first cornerstone was laid and 490 days later, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8, 1900 - the church opened. It was regarded by many to be the finest piece of architecture west of Toronto and north of San Francisco.
The cathedral is constructed of sandstone from Gabriola Island on a foundation of local granite. It is built in the form of a cross that is 161 feet long, 104 feet across at the transepts and 217 feet to the top of the tallest steeple.
In 1916 this Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary was declared a cathedral.
I don't know what this piece of granite says but it looks important!
This church hold special memories for me. I am not Catholic but many years ago - around thirty to be precise - I was going to Barbizon Modelling School. I lived in Langley and each Saturday I would board a bus that would take me into the city. At fifteen years old I felt pretty important. At that time there was a bus depot down the street and I would have to walk by the Holy Rosary Cathedral to get to my classes. Sometimes I would quietly walk in and take a seat in a back pew. There I would sit for a few moments, taking in the peace and beauty around me. I can still close my eyes and remember how I felt, how settled it made me.
In 1948 the synagogue moved into new, larger quarters in the south Cambie neighbourhood.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
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