Just discovered this place – Cathedraltown – built in 2006, population 3,000.
It’s an odd little suburban area located 30 km north of Toronto, off the 404 at Elgin Mills Road.
1,200 houses, all virtually identical lined up in exact rows. When you drive through it feels like a ghost town, even though it’s fully occupied. And not cheap – according to MLS.ca, a tiny row house with a 6×24 lot is $660,000.
Here’s where it gets real weird.
The entire town was built around
the Cathedral of the Transfiguration,
which is abandoned.
The strange history of the cathedral
Building started in 1984, and is designed to hold 1,000 Slovak Roman Catholics worshipers.
It was the dream of Mr. Stephen Boleslav Roman, a rich mining guy. Mr. Roman spared no expense – the 20-story dome is real gold, it features the world’s largest bells, mosaics made of 5 million pieces, and the architect was the guy who renovated Westminster Abby. So ya, the original $13 million budget was exceeded.
In 1984 the Pope blesses the cornerstone of the place! That makes it the first church in North America to be consecrated by a Pope.
Mr. Roman dies in 1988 and 1,600 people attend his funeral, in what would be the structure’s largest event. Because then the fighting started, construction was never completed, and in 2006 the place was shut down. Priests were suspended permission from celebrating Mass here, and along with the alter, the blessed cornerstone was removed!
It was opened again once in 2009, to celebrate a 25-metre mosaic being completed, and that’s it.
Above is a photo of inside about 6 weeks ago that I uh, found on the internet.
Now the cathedral belongs to the town.
It’s just… I don’t… where’s the logic… why complete the massive mosaic 3 years after it closed? Why isn’t the place covered in graffiti and squatters? Whose watching the cameras, the ones that are pointed away from the doors, and down? Then my mind goes to “hiding in plain sight….”
Go visit the place and let me know what you think.