A cathedral by this name was formerly located on Notre-Dame Street in Old Montreal. It had been designated as the cathedral for the new Diocese of Montreal when the Diocese of Montreal was separated from the Diocese of Quebec. The original Christ Church Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1856.
The present cathedral, an Neo-gothic structure, was designed by architect Frank Wills, who also designed Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was completed in 1859 and consecrated in 1867.
Unfortunately, the design, though acclaimed for its architecture, suffered from important engineering flaws. The soft ground could not support the heavy central stone tower and steeple, which began to subside and lean. This defect formed the basis of an important lawsuit (Wardle v. Bethune) often cited as precedent relating to Article 1688 of the Quebec Civil Code. The steeple had to be removed in 1927. New foundations were poured in 1939, and in 1940, an anonymous donation permitted the construction of a much lighter steeple made of aluminum, moulded to simulate the former stone spire. It is 28 metres high, attaining a height of 70 metres off the ground.
Recent additions to the church include a choir gallery, built in 1980, and the church's third organ, completed in 1981. Notable musicians to have served as the church's organist include Alfred Whitehead (1922–1947) and S. Drummond Wolff (1952–1956). #canada #cathedral #christ #church #montreal #quebec