St. Michael's Cathedral

This 19th century Gothic-style cathedral is the principle church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto and the seat of the Archbishop of Toronto. Built between 1845 and 1848, St. Michael’s Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the city. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto just a few blocks from the city’s bustling financial district and popular tourist destination the Eaton Centre, it offers both a beautiful and peaceful sanctuary from the busy city streets with its remarkable works of art and luminous stained glass windows.

About the Building

The cornerstone of St. Michael’s was laid in May of 1845 by the first Bishop of Toronto, Michael Power. The cathedral was consecrated three years later on September 19, 1848 and dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, protector of the Roman Catholic Church. The building was designed by architect William Thomas, who also planned several Toronto churches and St. Lawrence Hall. Thomas was inspired by England’s grand York Minster; the architecture of St. Michael’s Cathedral reflects the 14th century English Gothic style of religious structures. Much of the financial support for the church came from the Irish immigrants in the St. Michael’s parish.

Inside the Cathedral

The interior of St. Michael’s Cathedral features stunning displays of art including French artist Etienne Thevenot’s magnificent stained glass depiction of Christ’s crucifixion, which was installed above the sanctuary in 1848. This window among others was a gift from the second bishop of Toronto, Armand-François-Marie Count de Charbonnel. Bishop de Charbonnel was responsible for much of the beautification of the cathedral’s interior. He sold his personal property to raise funds to commission paintings for St. Michael’s, and he imported the cathedral’s Stations of the Cross from France.

Further renovations to the interior were made by Archbishop James Charles McGuigan in 1937. He added many works of art to the cathedral including the two largest on the sanctuary ceiling. In 1980, Cardinal Gerald Emmett made more additions to St. Michael’s including a new pulpit and high altar. Other highlights of the cathedral’s interior include the gold chalices and the throne used by Pope John Paul II in the mass he gave at St. Michael’s in 1984.

The St. Michaelís Choir School

St. Michael’s Cathedral boasts a rich musical tradition and is served by its own choir from the renowned St. Michael’s Choir School. From September to June, this award-winning boys’ choir performs the music for three of the weekend services, accompanied by the same grand organ that Archbishop Joseph Lynch added to the cathedral in 1880. Founded in 1937, this internationally acclaimed choir attracts visitors from all around the globe and is one of only six choirs in the world that has been granted an affiliation with Rome’s Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

Celebrations at St. Michaelís

Located in the heart of the city, St. Michael’s Cathedral is a very busy parish and even more bustling during the Christmas and Easter season, when thousands visit to worship and the Archbishop presides over the services. The parish also celebrates many events throughout the year including the traditional feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Located in the midst of an urban center, St. Michael’s serves a diverse community and in addition to its daily masses offers parishioners spiritual counselling and is committed to providing help to the city’s poor.

St. Michael's Cathedral

St. Michael’s Cathedral is located in downtown Toronto. Parking is available at nearby lots. The cathedral is also accessible from the Queen or Dundas subway stations.

The cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 6:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday from 6:00am to 10:00pm. For more information on visiting the cathedral, guided tours and for a schedule of Sunday and weekday masses, call or vist their website.

Location: 65 Bond Street (at Bond and Shuter Streets), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Phone: (416) 364-0234

Click here to visit St. Michael's Cathedral official website

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