Vancouver’s Best Churches for Visitors

Vancouver Churhes

Photo: John Lee

The following article was contributed by Vancouver travel writer and Lonely Planet author John Lee (@johnleewriter)

In a city where buildings from the early days are vastly outnumbered by modern glass towers, Vancouver has plenty of historic churches for visitors who love popping into places of worship on their travels.

The first stop for many is downtown’s Christ Church Cathedral, a beautiful heritage structure that looks like it could have been transported straight from a 19th-century English parish.

Its dramatic interior includes a spectacular hammerbeam ceiling and dozens of sparkling stained glass windows. But the lovely Gothic Revival building that welcomes visitors today wasn’t always so captivating.

The original structure – completed in 1889 – was a squat stone shed that locals soon nicknamed “the root cellar.” Replaced by a traditional-looking church a few years later, by the 1970s plans were drawn up to demolish it and replace it with a new tower.

Luckily, history-hugging Vancouverites stepped up to the plate and won the day. Now a Class A heritage building, Christ Church Cathedral is widely regarded as one of Vancouver’s architectural gems.

For visitors, its stained glass windows remain a highlight. Download a self-guided tour and you’ll soon by basking before 34 great examples, from the Victorian era to the present day. My favourite? A three-panel design crafted by William Morris & Company in the downstairs vestibule.

A five-minute walk away is downtown’s other most popular place of worship for visitors. St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church was completed in 1933 – although its grand granite façade makes it seem much older.

A cavernous, high-ceilinged interior that inspires calm, the church is a popular music venue, frequently hosting well-attended concerts.

Check its website for upcoming events: there’s a Halloween organ concert on October 27, for example, while the weekly free entry Jazz Vespers has become a local legend. Staged at 4 p.m. every Sunday, the one-hour service includes music from some of the city’s coolest jazz musicians.

Sustenance of a different kind is offered across town at Mount Pleasant’s Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.

The hall adjoining the turreted main building hosts one of Vancouver’s most popular church events on the first Friday of every month. Attracting hundreds of esurient locals, the stomach-lagging Perogy Night is highly recommended.

Join the queue before the 5 p.m. kick-off and you’ll soon be tucking into a $12 blow-out of six bulging perogies, two cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, sausage and coffee – mini versions and vegetarian options also available. Prepared and served by a busy bunch of industrious seniors, it’s the perfect event to meet the locals and stuff your face at the same time.

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5 Responses to Vancouver’s Best Churches for Visitors

  1. I’m any Virgo, and so i ‘m fairly Type A and I love preparing.

  2. linda

    people in the church, i just want you guys to know that we might have the noise problem here for over a decade, we are not surely what this happen to us and i want God to assist this problem so that we don’t want this happen anymore. we are living in renfew height area, and there is a noise problem we have no idea how to solve it. the owner who lives in 3249 e23rd ave vancouver bc v5r1b6 canada puts out the silver plate at the balcony for 24 hours(we guess 24hours). most of time we could hear some ping ping noises and we sure that those noises are coming from the plate. we don’t know what to do. we cannot reach the owner, the owner won’t even concern us, ignoring our comment for the plate. is there anyone who can reach the owner so that we won’t have any noises again. Please help us God. or someone who likes to give us a hand. thank you
    we don’t want any noises, we need a quiet environments, thank you so much!!!

  3. linda

    i’m sure that God, our father could give us a hand. our neighbourhood in renfrew height area, an owner who living at 3249e23rd ave vancouver bc v5r1b6 canada, hangs out a plate at the balcony, back of the house. we are out of mind that we don’t know what is the plate’s purpose for. it hangs for 24 hours that no one would take it back at night. A post is near the plate. in windy days. the plate would hit the post nearby creating noises that we cannot handle it. most of time at night, eventhough we closed the windows. we still able to hear the nosise. YES noises, how could people sleep/rest with noises? no one could do that. unless the person is deaf at all. So. i’m please that God could give us a hand so we don’t wish to see the plate at night. we in this neighbourhood need a quiet night to sleep.
    thanks GOD

  4. linda

    the noise really bothers me alot in this area we are living, Renfrew Height area. a neighbourhood owner who lives at 3249e23rd avenue vancouver bc canada puts the silver baking plate at the back of the house. or at the balcony. as we see it, the plate is hanged near a metal pole. when the plate blows by the wind. the plate would hit the metal pole. it would create noises at all. we notice that the plate is hanged for 24hours: morning, afternoon, night, mid night early morning. we don’t know what is the purpose of that plate for but we are surely that the plate creates noises for this neighbourhood. people in this neighbourhood attempt to reach her. however, the owner refuse to discuss anyone of us here. we don’t know what to do . We need a help from God that we wish God could remove the plate for us. thank you

  5. neighbourhood

    why do we have noise problem? why does God doesn’t help us at all. we all believe God can change something for us because we all believed in GOD. we are out of mind because we don’t know how to solve this noise problem. a owner lives at 3249 E23rd avenue vancouver bc v5r1b6, this owner put a silver baking plate at the balcony. families who lives near that house found out the silver is hanging for 24hours a day without taking it off. even night/midnight, the plate is still there. what is the purpose of this plate.no one knows seriously. the owner doesn’t even care us. even ignored us for all who attempt to speak with he owner,a lady. we don’t even know her name her age her nationality. no one knows. Could God help us at all? Please. we need sleep at night, we don’t need noises at all. you should share this news to everyone in this church. or even take a look at this house . thank you