An iconic Roman Catholic cathedral in limbo.
Why it matters:
Built between 1854 and 1862, the Saint-Germain Cathedral was designed by the prominent French Canadian architect, Victor Bourgeau. Today, owned by the Fabrique Saint-Germain, the cathedral is home to one of the largest pipe organs in the province of Québec, a neo-classic tabernacle built by François-Thomas Baillargé in 1833, as well as a painting of Saint Germain d’Auxerre dating back to 1740. The cathedral is also adorned with historic goldsmithing items, works of art, and stained glass windows. To this day, it is the tallest building in Rimouski.
Why it’s endangered:
In 2014, the Fabrique Saint-Germain was forced to close the building to the public due to safety concerns. Since that time, the cathedral has remained unoccupied, causing the building’s deterioration to accelerate. Public consultations are expected to occur in 2017 to determine viable options for the cathedral’s future – but once a decision has been reached, it could take years to implement.
Today, the estimated cost to repair the exterior of the cathedral would be a minimum of $5 million, and over $20 million to repair the entire building.