Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption

Site 5:
Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption
Location:
480 McIntyre Street West
Date Originally Built:
1904
Present Use:
As above
Evaluation Score:
Priority One

The steeple of this white limestone church acts as a virtual beacon in the municipal landscape, making the Pro-Cathedral one of the most recognized buildings in the city. Because of the height of the projecting tower, and the open space of the church interior, buttressing of the walls was needed for structural stability.

The Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption was designed by Harry Angus of Thompson and Angus Architects. This project is one of many that Angus contributed to the early architectural heritage of North Bay.

The cornerstone of the church was laid on June 19, 1904. The foundation is North Bay granite and the existing superstructure is built of white limestone quarried in Longford, which was transported to North Bay via the CPR. In 1911, the rectory (located on McIntyre Street West) was built, respectfully using the same material and architectural forms as those of the church, thus blending the two structures into one form. This addition became known as “The Bishop’s Palace.”

The Cathedral occupies a dominant site fronting on the diagonal intersection of McIntyre Street and Algonquin Avenue, which achieves a generous open spatial relationship in proper scale with the height of the steeple.

The recent restoration of the streetscape surrounding the church, including Richardson’s Fountain, helped to reclaim the historical appearance of this landmark area of the city. As well as acting as a great showcase for the church, the divided roadway and new landscaping create a smooth transition and entry into the downtown core.