St Michael’s Cathedral is marching onwards in their multi-year restoration and renovation project and this week they gave the public a progress report in the form of an Open House. I can’t remember visiting St. Mike’s before the beginning of the restoration, ever, but I’m happy that one day soon the newly restored St. Michael’s Cathedral with be a major draw for visitors to Toronto and I was excited for the preview.
I think that anytime a church undergoes a costly restoration there’s discussion about the value proposition and if the money should be spent in other ways. As an outsider, my opinion is that people know what they are donating towards and it’s up to them how they want to spend their money. Personally, I hope the newly restored St. Mike’s will be part of a Toronto renaissance that I’ll be lucky enough to enjoy. I certainly enjoyed the Open House.
From the moment I walked in, I could barely keep my eyes off the restored ceiling. The hand-painted stars are simply inspiring. Artists from Ecclesiastical Art & Design Ltd. were available at the Open House to discuss the meaning behind their work on the ceiling and their process. Since most of the restored elements aren’t in place yet, this is what the Open House was really about–giving people a chance to meet the restoration team and artists. There were, however, examples of many new and newly restored elements that will be part of the finished restoration, which I really appreciated getting to see close up.
The lower level isn’t complete yet either, but visitors were able to see part of the crypt and the new washrooms. It’s hard to believe St. Michael’s Cathedral previously only had one washroom!
There’s obviously still a lot left in the restoration process but the Open House offered a strong sense of where the restoration is going and just how great this build can be for the church and for the city.