"How do you eat an elephant?" goes the old adage.
"One bite at a time."
According to the head architect of the St. Michael's Cathedral restoration project, this expresses how they've tackled a seemingly insurmountable task of restoring the mother church of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
The ongoing restoration work at the cathedral is impossible to ignore. For years, scaffolding has adorned the exterior of the church. Impressively, the parish continued a regular schedule of Masses and events amidst extensive interior work.
In June 2015, the church closed for the safety of parishioners and to allow the final phases of restoration to move forward without interruption. The cathedral community celebrated Mass together at nearby St. Paul's Basilica from June 2015 to April 2016.
We are happy to share the news that St. Michael's Cathedral is now in the final phase of its interior restoration, with a grand re-opening forecasted for the Feast of St. Michael on September 29, 2016.
In the meantime, the parish has re-opened on weekends with the following schedule:
Weekday Masses continue to be celebrated at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Monday to Friday at St. John's Chapel, 200 Church Street.
There is still scaffolding inside the church, but visitors will notice progress each weekend when the parish opens for Sunday Masses. The lower section of the columns are currently being clad in marble and the upper part in plaster to prepare for painting. The sanctuary floor and reredos (an ornamental screen covering the wall at the back of an altar) are currently under construction. When the floor is complete, wainscoting (wooden paneling that lines the lower part of a wall) will be added on the north and south walls.
Once the interior construction is complete and new pews are installed, the finishing touch will be installing and tuning the new Opus 3907 organ made by Casavant Frères in Quebec. Cardinal Collins was present when the organ was played for the first time on April 8 at the Casavant workshop. We look forward to glorifying God in song for years to come with the aid of this instrument.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we ensure the safety and beauty of our mother church for many decades to come!
The Cathedral, the seat of the archbishop and mother church of the Archdiocese of Toronto, connects every Catholic in the archdiocese, and gathers every pastoral and apostolic work under the heavenly patronage of the great defender of the faithful in the struggles of life, the archangel Michael. We need his intercession more than ever. - Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese of Toronto