Doors Open Ontario

Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa Doors Open Ottawa

Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa

The parish of Christ Church Bytown was established in 1832 on unceded Algonquin territory. In 1872, architect King Arnoldi completed construction of a bigger church in the English Gothic style to harmonize with the new Parliament buildings. Named the Cathedral of the Diocese in 1897, it continues to nurture faith in creative and traditional ways, and is often used for ecumenical, interfaith and state events. The cathedral offers soaring ceilings and pointed windows, drawing attention heavenward while every line seems to point to the altar. In between, in small details and great windows, key aspects of the Christian story are told. Features include the bell tower, home to the 234-kilogram (516-pound) bronze bell cast for the original church in 1839. Having celebrated the creation of Canada on July 1, 1867, the bell continues to ring for services today. The carved wooden reredos behind the altar reflects the motto of the cathedral. The Chapel of Reconciliation includes the Cross of Nails and represents the call to reconciliation with God, between people and with the created order. This chapel also recognizes the cathedral’s role as the Cathedral to the Anglican Military Ordinariate of the Canadian Forces. The magnificent west window was commissioned to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the founding of Christ Church Bytown. Filling the lower portion of the window, crowds of people represent the diversity of the population served by Christ Church over the years. At the top, Christ the King holds the cathedral safe in his arms. The cathedral mice offer young and old a whimsical perspective from their unique hiding places in the stained glass. As part of Digital Doors Open, take a virtual tour of the cathedral below. You can also participate in livestream services (check their website).

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Contact info

414 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario


Architect: King Arnoldi
Architectural style: Gothic revival
Building type: Historical landmark, Place of worship

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Ottawa

Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa 414 Sparks Street