St. Mary's Basilica
History and museums
St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica is a Gothic Revival Catholic cathedral located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Halifax and is the largest Catholic church in the Archdiocese. Consecrated on October 19, 1899, it was made a basilica in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. The St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica boasts the tallest granite spire in North America.
The church has been significantly expanded and altered over time. Originally constructed of wood, it was replaced by a stone structure beginning in 1820 inspired (as were many churches of the day) by Saint Martin in the Fields in London. It was expanded to its present size beginning in 1869, according to designs of Patrick Keely who introduced the Gothic Revival facade and spire. Besides the Gothic features, the spire also includes Norman and Germanic design elements.
The facade and spire are notable for being built entirely of granite. All of the stone was locally obtained, except for the three portals which have a jamb shaft of pink Aberdeen granite. The spire has a height of 189 feet (58 m).
The basilica was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997.