This Cathedral of Transfiguration in Markham, Ontario is thirty years in the making but still unfinished. And nobody knows when exactly it’s going to see the light of the day when its congregants will be welcomed back again inside. The last time this Cathedral was opened to the public was in 2009 but its last service was in 2006.
Yesterday, as I went around the Church, scaffoldings are still conspicuous to a curious tourist. Some steps are broken and cracks are hard to ignore. Its gray outward appearance casts a gloomy, sad structure of epic size, but its three onion-like gold domes scream magnificence that could topple those old-age churches in Europe.
Standing alone in a vast, neglected lawn of sods, the Cathedral of Transfiguration commands splendour half undone.
For three decades, its completion is a future unanswered.
The cathedral’s cornerstone was the first one in North America consecrated by late Pope John Paul II.
The Church is a brainchild of Stephen B. Roman, a mining magnate who immigrated to Canada in 1937 from Slovakia.
Three of the onion-like domes are plated in 22-karat gold.
The mosaics inside are rumoured to be 5 million pieces.
The three-bell carillon is the largest in the world.
The church is designed by Donald Buttress, the same guy who was at the helm of renovating the Westminster Abbey in London, England.
Thirty years and thirty million dollars later, the church is a reminder of dreams yet to be fulfilled.
Directions / How to get there by public transport:
Get off at Victoria Park Station and take 24 bus going to Steeles.
From its last stop, transfer to Markham bus (the station is 10 steps from the TTC). Get off at Vine Cliff Boulevard.
The Markham bus costs $4. Don’t forget to ask for the ticket. It’s valid for 2 hours.