Restoring an icon

Our community recently celebrated John Galt Day for our civic holiday.

Galt had grand plans for Guelph, including building a magnificent church on the hill that overlooks our beautiful city.

So it was timely that I just attended a ceremony on Catholic Hill to celebrate the ongoing restoration of the iconic Church of Our Lady.

Time and the elements have taken their toll on the church but the tireless and daunting mission to restore this prominent structure will preserve Galt’s vision for years to come. 

The Church of Our Lady is among Guelph’s greatest historical and cultural landmarks, and is the number one tourism draw for our city. Thousands of people of all faiths and backgrounds visit the church every year to marvel at its architecture, stained-glass, sculptures and frescoes.

MP Peter Braid was on hand to announce over $400,000 in Federal funding through the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program in repairing the church’s slate roof. This is an important part of the restoration work.  We all need a sound roof over our heads.

The job of fully restoring the church is a multi-phased project that will require continued fundraising to reach completion.

Standing at the top of the stairs in front of Church of our Lady, and looking down along Macdonell Street, you can see the location that John Galt felled the first tree to found our city.  You can just imagine him walking up the hill and sensing the importance of this hill to future of the city he envisoned.


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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2 Comments on “Restoring an icon”

  1. Steven Petric Says:

    I have to agree that this place is the greatest historical and cultural landmark in the Royal City. It is a wonderful stop for tourists to see. My only issue is that it is not lite up at night.

    Many other communitys have churches that act as a centre piece of the town or city, and they light them up at night to showcase them.

    I know in the past Church of Our Lady did light up the place but stopped due to the electrical expense of the light bulbs. With todays LED technology, it would cost so little and make this centre piece shine at night!

  2. Jenny Kulikowsky Says:

    The Church of Our Lady is a spectacular and pivitol part of our city! As a local artist, I draw inspiration from and marvel at it’s architecture and the magnificant artistry of this church! i am so very glad that Guelph is taking care to restore this historical beauty! I am doubly pleased to know that fundraising is being done to grow funds for the restoration! Thank-you Mayor for being so wonderful and thoughtful about our city’s funds too! It’s just another reason I proudly call Guelph my home! This is a unique and beautiful city and I am so grateful that we have such amazing leadership for our town! Guelph is a place to set standards to. An example of community conscious leadership for other cities to follow! Best wishes for the restoration!!

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