While I was photographing the churches in yesterday's post, this one was one of my destinations. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is a national historic site of Canada. A Gothic Revival wonder of the Victorian era, this is the third Catholic church to stand on the highest ground in the city, Catholic Hill. The main structure was built between 1876-88, though the Catholic presence here dates to the earliest times of settlement. The towers were finished in 1926. Pope Francis gave it the designation of basilica in 2014. It shares the hill with the former convent that now houses the Guelph Civic Museum.
It is a good walk up from street level to the front doors, more than a hundred steps in all (there is a parking lot by the museum, so only the crazy like yours truly would go up these steps these days). This is part of the way up, where a statue of Our Lady is positioned.
Further up is a garden with religious statues.
And the basilica itself. Designed by Joseph Connolly, it is majestic outside and inside. I have been inside before, but on both occasions I came up here during this visit, it was locked this time out.
Here we have the view from the top of the hill down into Guelph's core.
Whilst here we have a view from down in the core a half hour or so later, when the skies had gotten particularly threatening. Our Lady Immaculate dominates the skyline in downtown Guelph.
The following day was much more pleasant. I came with my brother to the museum. Here we have a view of the northwest corner of the basilica.