A look at restoration phases and timelines
The Basilica of our Lady Immaculate has been a place of worship and reflection for over 125 years. The Basilica is constructed of local limestone in the Gothic Revival style. It towers over the Guelph community as a constant reminder of God’s love and a community’s resilience. Designated a National Historic Site, it is the most visited tourist destination in the city of Guelph.
After an intensive five phase restoration spanning many years, the restoration was completed in December 2014. There was a special dedication mass at the Church on December 8, 2014, and it was at this mass that Bishop Crosby announced that our Holy Father Pope Francis had elevated our church to the status of a Basilica in honour of its rich history and the importance of this parish in the Diocese of Hamilton and the City of Guelph.
In the fall of 2015, the Basilica of our Lady Immaculate was recognized for the restoration of the church. The Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals awarded their 2015 Award of Excellence to our Church. This is the largest respected collective of heritage professionals involved in the preservation of our national heritage properties. In November we received the Peter Stokes Award by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.
Phase 1: The Towers
Phase 2: The foundation, site services, walls and clerestory windows
Phase 3: The Roof
Phase 4: Transepts and ambulatory masonry and stained glass windows
Phase 5: The Interior
The interior restoration occurred over an intensive twelve months while still maintaining weekend masses. Here are some highlights of the interior restoration:
- All interior walls and as well as the ceiling received a new coat of paint
- All paintings were refreshed and touched up
- St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Marguerite d’Youville received halos as at the time of their original painting, they had not yet been canonized
- The large painting in the South Transept (Peter receiving the Keys of the Kingdom) was restored after sustaining some water damage
- A new painting of St. Pope John Paul II was added to the Gallery of Saints in the South Transept.
- The Stations of the Cross received a new coat of paint with halos highlighted in gold.