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Holy Trinity Cathedral

514 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/04/05

Exterior view of Holy Trinity Cathedral; New Westminster Public Library, NWPL 22
Oblique view
Exterior view of Holy Trinity Cathedral; City of New Westminster, 2004
Oblique view
Exterior view of Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1898; New Westminster Public Library, NWPL 614
Front facade

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1899/01/01 to 1902/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Holy Trinity Cathedral is a stone and brick Gothic Revival church with a front gabled roof and a brick and stone tower. The building is located in a commanding position on Carnarvon Street at Church Street, near New Westminster's historic downtown core.

Heritage Value

Holy Trinity Cathedral is valued for its association with the earliest settlement of New Westminster. The first Anglican service in New Westminster was held in 1859, reflecting the British origins of the Royal Engineers who founded the city. Colonel R.C. Moody of the Royal Engineers designed the original layout of the city to include this church site as a prominent central feature, demonstrating loyalty to the primary faith of the Mother Country. The first Holy Trinity Anglican church, built by the Royal Engineers in 1860, was destroyed by fire in 1865. A second church, designed by Victoria architect H.O. Tiedemann and built from imported Salt Spring Island sandstone, was erected in 1867-68. In 1892, Holy Trinity became the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of New Westminster. The disastrous 1898 fire, which wiped out the greater part of downtown New Westminster, destroyed the second Holy Trinity, but the thick stone walls survived. Between 1899 and 1902 the cathedral was rebuilt using the original walls of the earlier building.

Additionally, Holy Trinity Cathedral is of architectural significance for its Gothic Revival style, and for its interior and exterior design. The reconstruction of the church was designed by George William Grant (1852-1925), a prolific architect who designed many of the buildings in downtown New Westminster, before and after the Great Fire. The interior of Holy Trinity Cathedral was based on the design of St. Paul's Church, Kensington, London, and remains in substantially original condition. The vaulted space is illuminated by art glass windows executed by Henry Bloomfield and Sons, a prominent firm established in New Westminster in 1890.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Holy Trinity Cathedral include its:
- continuous use as a church site since the earliest development of the city
- location on Carnarvon Street, part of a grouping of late Victorian and Edwardian era buildings in historic downtown New Westminster
- ecclesiastical form, scale, and massing as expressed by its irregular picturesque shape, steeply-pitched rooflines, and offset buttressed tower with a crenellated roof-line
- gabled roof with minimal overhangs and gabled roof on the western projection
- elements of the Gothic Revival style, such as the massive masonry construction, asymmetrical bell tower and Gothic pointed-arch windows
- interior features such as the original vaulted ceilings, art glass windows, dark-stained woodwork, altar and reredos



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer

George W. Grant


Henry Bloomfield and Sons

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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