St. Michael’s Cathedral

St. Michael’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral that is located at 200 Church Street on the northwest corner of Church and Shuter Street.Originally, the church was not built with a tower and steeple or with the dormers on the roof that are evident today. St. Michael’s Cathedral was built in the 19th century during a period called the Gothic revival where the revival of mediaeval, Gothic style architecture was very prominent in Europe and North America.  Before gothic architecture, most Christian churches were built in the Romanesque style which did not provide much in the way of natural daylight, which was changed greatly with Gothic architecture where architects tried to pull in as much light as possible with the use of flying buttresses with thin walls that could provide large windows. The building is made from brick and stone which is a cream colour that has darkened with age. There are other various masonry pieces that are used around the windows and there is a slate pitched roof. The steeple that was added to the building in 1866 gives the building a clear hierarchy as to which side is the main entrance to the church. The scale of the tower compared to the rest of the building greatly increases its presence and since it is a single storey building it makes the building seem much larger than it is, as well as making it a prominent feature that can be seen from a great distance. The Gothic Revival was a very interesting time for churches and cathedrals alike, making them a very prominent feature of the town or city they are located in.  In Toronto, St. Michaels cathedral is a landmark and a symbol of the heritage in Toronto, not only because of the fact that it is one of the oldest churches in the city, but because it is a great example of gothic architecture, as well as the work of a great architect that William Thomas was.

Cook, Brian C. St. Michael’s Cathedral, Toronto A Short History and Guide. Karen Marshall Booth, 1989. Print.

– Ben Reimer

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