Created By: neighbourhood history group
Founded in 1913, the soaring spires of Holy Rosary Cathedral gave the neighbourhood its current name. It was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by the firm of Joseph Fortin of Montreal, who also designed the Roman Catholic cathedrals in Saskatoon and Gravelbourg.
Smith Bros. & Wilson built the cathedral at a cost of $200,000. It was a labour of many years. The first sod was turned in June 1912, just weeks before a devastating cyclone swept through Regina. The first mass took place in the basement on December 8, 1912, and in June 1913 the building's cornerstone was blessed by the Papal Ambassador to Canada. A photo of the gathered crowds shows the building's signature spires were still under construction. The building was finally completed in 1917.
Inside is a 1930 Casavant pipe organ that was fully restored in 1993. Named the McGuigan Casavant Organ, it is one of the finest in Canada, attracting musicians from around the country. A special scholarship program helps young students train on the instrument.
There are also 33 stained-glass windows designed in 1951 by the French artist André Rault. Detailed descriptions of each window can be found on the website of the Institute for Stained Glass in Canada.
On April 12, 1976, a fire broke out and gutted the interior. Nearby Westminister United Church offered a temporary home for the congregation while repairs were made. The stained-glass windows were not damaged, and were fully restored in 2002 by David Johnson of the Royal Academy of Stained Glass Artisans.
This property has been on the Regina Heritage Holding Bylaw List since 1989. It remains a very active cathedral, filling 13th Avenue with lively crowds whenever masses, weddings, music concerts, and other events are held.
As the parish website states, "Far from being a museum, Holy Rosary Cathedral is a vibrant Christian community that gives thanks for the generosity and foresight of its founders, and looks forward to the future with hope and faith."
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Cathedral Village