Christ Church Cathedral School’s main campus for students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 is located in the beautiful Memorial Hall, right next to the Cathedral. The corner stone was laid by the Lieutenant-Governor, The Honourable Walter Cameron Nichol, on October 1, 1923. Construction was halted in 1929, before the plans could be fully realized. Since then Memorial Hall has undergone many transformations and enjoyed many important roles as the City of Victoria grew up around Cathedral Hill.
Memorial Hall has served as a pre-school, a Sunday school for almost 500 of Victoria’s children, and it was used for daily religious classes for the public schools of Victoria. It housed the Parish and Diocese offices and the Bishop had his office in what is now our Learning Centre. It served and continues to serve as the Parish reception hall for baptisms, funerals and memorials, for choir practice and church bazaars and teas. It was and is a meeting place for Synod. It was also the home of the Victoria Gymnastics Academy and a temporary location for Victoria’s public library, the cub scouts, and other community organizations.
In 1989, a small group of parishioners got together and discussed the possibility of opening an Anglican School and under the spiritual guidance of Dean Frame and the administrative hand of Laura Heintzman, Christ Church Cathedral School opened its doors in 1990. At first the School occupied only a couple of rooms in Memorial Hall, but as our reputation for an outstanding values-based Christian education grew, so did our enrolment. 20 years later, the School had completed its gentle take-over of the entire facility, thanks to an understanding and supportive Parish and Diocese.
In 2002 work began to seismically reinforce the building and to create more classrooms and office space. In 2005 that phase of work was completed and The Honourable Iona Campagnolo, the Lieutenant-Governor, helped to celebrate the opening of the newly upgraded facility that boasted four new classrooms and the current administration offices.
Where we are today
2011 saw the launch of the latest Cathedral Hill Renewal process. Driven by the vision that Cathedral Hill is a gathering place where the exploration of faith and learning transforms the individual and the community, stakeholders from the parish, the diocese, the school and the local community collaborated on how to bring this vision to life. Programs that support the mission work of the church and school were prioritized as were potential facility upgrades to support those mission programs. The Cathedral’s architect developed conceptual drawings that are inspiring further discussion and collaboration. In 2014, the Parish Council resolved to complete the engineering work that would make Memorial Hall resilient against seismic forces. The next phase of this crucial work will be undertaken during the summer of 2015.
The Parish Council and the School Board continue to work together to plan for the exciting future, one where exploration, faith, and learning come together on Cathedral Hill.
Christ Church Cathedral Childcare & Junior Kindergarten
Our Junior Kindergarten has enjoyed strong and steady enrolment at our James Bay location on Niagara Street since 2008. The past six years in the James Bay Mission has been very pleasant and many children and families have enjoyed the spacious, cottage-like facilities while attending Junior Kindergarten in preparation for enrolment at our main campus.
In 2012, an engineering study of the quaint red-brick mission building was completed and it was determined that it was unfeasible to seismically upgrade the structure. Hence, we began searching for a new location. We finally found a suitable site in the St. Matthias Anglican Church Rectory on Richardson Street. This spacious residence with an expansive fenced back yard will soon become the new home of the Christ Church Cathedral School Junior Kindergarten and Childcare Centre. We are looking forward to building relations with the St. Matthias parish and will work hard to maintain the very positive relationship with now have with the Christ Church Parish.
The new facility at 1670 Richardson Street opened its doors on March 23, 2015. Staff and students are enjoying the spacious new facility and large backyard play area.