St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica
Visit the famous landmark at 196 Dufferin Ave., home to the local Roman Catholic Diocese seat. Established in 1834, the former parish was dedicated on August 10th and the summer is always a popular season for secular tours of the space. However, the cathedral as we know it today is nothing like its original form. The first church was burned in a fire in brought to its formidable size via donated labor and materials.
Today’s cathedral is made of brick, less likely to burn, and was granted by the Crown to Bishop Alexander Macdonell. The new church’s cornerstone was laid on June 29th 1851, the same day as the Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul. A few years later, the London Diocese was established in 1856 and Bishop Pierre-Adolphe Pinsoneault renamed the church to St. Peter.
The Building of a Landmark
Joseph Connolly was selected as the architect of the new church, which really picked up steam in 1880. It was created in French Gothic Revival 13th century style, and took five years to complete. Although it was dedicated in 1885, the first stained glass wasn’t added until 1889. The final completion of the interior took until 1926. Visitors today can clearly see the craftsmanship and dedication that went into rebuilding London’s Catholic hub.
In 1958, Lady Chapel and the sacristy (two twin towers) were also added. More stained glass was included in the narthex, and there were additions to interior paintings. In 1961, the church was promoted to the level of minor basilica by Pope John XXII. Explore one of London’s most interesting and beautiful buildings, or attend a worship service where all are welcome.