One stunning cathedral located right downtown on View Street is called St. Andrew’s Cathedral. This is a Roman Catholic cathedral built in High Victorian Gothic style, with well-kept historical artwork of the 19th century and has been a National Historic Site since 1990.
Attractions around the St. Andrew’s Cathedral:
Imagine, this architecturally beautiful Cathedral is conveniently located just in the epicenter of all activities downtown and simply a few steps away from many other destinations and attractions of the city, such as:
- The Bay Shopping Centre – will bring you back to the modern day with a full suite of shops to explore;
- Inner Harbour – across the road with blooming flowers, palms and trees alongside gorgeous boats and yachts, makes the walk on the harbor an unforgettable experience;
- Empress Hotel – where one can visit for an afternoon famous Victorian tea;
- Victoria Bug Zoo – to enjoy the astonishing world of insects, arachnids, and other many-legged creatures!
- Greater Victoria Public Library – to learn more about the city, get an access to Wi-Fi, and do your work in a calm environment.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral historical and artwork significance:
St. Andrew’s Cathedral was designed by two very talented architects Maurice Perrault and Albert Mesnard. Construction of the Cathedral started in 1890 and finally dedicated in 1892 by Bishop John Lemmens. Quebec architects reflected Montreal style by adding to the design double asymmetrical towers, which is so typical of Quebec churches and distinctive to the High Victorian Gothic style.
Imagine, the unique altar of St. Andrew’s Cathedral consists the 400 pounds top made of yellow cedar and of two native bent boxes. Each box has a different image on each side representing different events from Christ`s life and stories from Scripture. The boxes get rotated few times during the year to show four separate designs for the different liturgical seasons.
The lectern has a carving of Christ, symbolizing both death and resurrection, the red side represents the crucified Christ with the crown of thorns on the head and the black side signifies the Christ is risen.
An impressive collection of stained glass windows gathered in various styles which are characterized to the 19th century, including Portland-style and rose. We can find windows with episodes from Christ`s life, St. Andrew and other saints.
Another showplace of the Cathedral is the pipe organ which was built in the province of Quebec and considered to have some of the best acoustics of any building in Western Canada.
Have you ever wondered what those headstones on the lawn beside the Cathedral are? There is a crypt in the basement of the St. Andrew Cathedral, where relics of Bishop Modeste Demers -the first Bishop of Victoria, is buried; Archbishop Charles J. Seghers, the second and also fourth Bishop of Victoria; as well as Rt. Rev. John J. Jonckau, the former Vicar-General of this Diocese. The headstones were installed in honor of them.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral today
Currently, St Andrew’s Cathedral is not only a Historical Site, it’s also a fully functional Church is the place of prayers. The Church welcomes not only Catholics but anyone who wants to spend their time in prayers. They also have mass service at 8 am and 12 noon allowing office workers to stop by before work and at lunch.
Their pipe organ concerts, when low notes reverberating through an elegant typical 19th century Cathedral is something else.
St Andrew’s Cathedral minister to many people every day. One of the services they focus on is to help the community; their kitchen feeds breakfast to over 300 people a day, five days a week. Thus, donations are always welcome to keep this tradition going.
Travelling to St. Andrew Cathedral
If you would like to drive to St. Andrew Cathedral, there is City of Victoria parkade right beside the Cathedral on View Street:
- First 1 hour free;
- Statuary holidays and Sundays are free;
- Check more information.
On-street free parking is available on Sundays on View Street and other surrounding streets.
If you prefer to use the bus, please check the BC Transit schedule here.