This Day in Guelph History: July 5, 1877
To commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial and Guelph’s 190th anniversary, Guelph Museums and the University of Guelph have teamed up to present This Day in Guelph, Ontario, Canada History – Old news gets a modern twist as we revisit news stories from the past 150 years.
July 5, 1877
Bishop Conroy, Papal Delegate to Canada, laid the cornerstone of the Church of Our Lady.
Building began on Church of Our Lady in 1876. But it wasn’t the first church in that location. When John Galt was laying out his plan for Guelph, in compliment to Bishop Alexander MacDonell, a hill in the centre of Guelph was reserved for use by the Catholic Church. The first church – a small wooden structure – was built in 1835. This church, named St. Patrick’s, was in existence until October 10, 1844, when it was destroyed by fire.
A second church, built of stone with a tower and spire, was erected in 1846 and dedicated to St. Bartholomew. It soon was outgrown, however, and a cornerstone was laid in 1863 for a new church which would have been much larger than the present one. But that project ran into financial difficulties and work was discontinued. About ten years later, a commission to build a third church was granted to Joseph Connolly, an Irish-Canadian architect.
The first sod for Church of Our Lady was turned in 1876; the cornerstone was laid in 1877. In 1888, 12 years after the building was started, it was dedicated to Our Lady Immaculate. But the twin towers, which rise to a height of over 200 feet, weren’t completed until 1926.
Photo: St. Bartholomew’s Church, 1877 | Details: http://ow.ly/vLTx30deaJc