- REN BRC 6
- Corporate body
"Christ Church Cathedral, in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the Cathedral church of the Diocese of New Westminster of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Cathedral is located at 690 Burrard Street on the north-east corner of West Georgia Street and Burrard Street, directly across from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
The first service was held, without a church building, on December 23, 1888 at 720 Granville Street in the town of Vancouver. Later, on February 14, 1889, a building committee was formed to collect the necessary funds for the erection of the church. It would be located on land bought from the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR); Henry John Cambie, chief engineer of CPR’s Pacific Division and People’s Warden of the new church, was a key negotiator in acquiring the property.
By October 1889, Christ Church’s basement was built and on October 6, the opening service was held for 52 parishioners. The joy of a new church did not last forever.
By 1891 the CPR objected to the unfinished building that had quickly been nicknamed the root house. It was viewed an “eyesore” and the parishioners feared they would lose their location due to lack of funds to complete the building.
A financing scheme was developed by a parishioner and the corner-stone was finally laid July 28, 1894, and the church dedicated, Sunday February 17, 1895. The church was built in the Gothic Style with ceiling made of cedar planking and ceiling beams and floor constructed out of old growth Douglas fir.
By 1909 the first expansion was done and by 1911 the first organ had already worn out, it used a human blower hired at $5 per month, and was replaced by a new organ manufactured by Wurlitzer. In 1920, electricity replaced candles for lighting, and in 1930 the lanterns now in the church were installed.
In 1929, the Archbishop of New Westminster constituted Christ Church as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese. The church planned to build a bell tower, but in 1943, the city by-laws were changed to restrict church bells."