Opened in 1889, Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest surviving religious building in Vancouver, and at one time was the tallest structure along the City’s now bustling Burrard Street. In fact, it was historically referred to as the “light on the hill” because it was used as a navigation aid for sailors coming into Coal Harbour.
In the 1980s, through Daon Developments Ltd., Concert’s late co-founder Jack Poole was involved with the adjacent office development, Park Place. As part of that project, “heritage density” was transferred from Christ Church Cathedral to allow for the 35-storey tower. For those not familiar, the transfer of heritage density is a city planning mechanism aimed at preserving historic buildings by allowing their owners to sell the density they are forgoing by virtue of keeping their heritage buildings intact. In the years since, funds transferred to Christ Church as a result of the transaction have gone towards social programs, a public realm redesign and an ongoing restoration program that entailed seismic upgrades. However, one part of the Cathedral’s restoration has yet to be realized - the construction of a bell spire.
In Jack’s memory, Darlene Poole has donated $2.5 million through the Jack and Darlene Poole Foundation towards the Church’s $7.5 million dollar capital campaign. In addition to the construction of a 100 foot bell spire that will house four bells, the campaign seeks to replace the currently leaky, asbestos-containing roof with a zinc version anticipated to last upwards of 100 years and will expand the currently small kitchen used to serve 100 meals a day to Vancouver’s homeless.
“Jack and I always believed that at the heart of every great city there are a handful of iconic buildings that help represent the character of the community,” said Darlene Poole. “Christ Church Cathedral is one of those places”
Concert’s Chairman and CEO, David Podmore, has also been proudly involved with the capital campaign. “The ‘Raise the Roof, Ring the Bells, Feed the Hungry!’ project will protect the heritage of this very special place in our downtown, create an exceptional amenity to be enjoyed by the entire community, and allow Christ Church to expand its service to feed and support Vancouver’s most vulnerable population. I support this work and encourage others to do so as well,” said Podmore.
To learn more about this project and to donate, click here.