North

Iqaluit's new igloo church gets cross and steeple

Iqaluit's familiar igloo-shaped Anglican cathedral is visible in the city's skyline again, six years after the original church was badly damaged by fire.
St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral, which is being rebuilt, gets a brand-new steeple and cross. 2:06

Iqaluit's familiar igloo-shaped Anglican cathedral is visible in the city's skyline again, six years after the original church was badly damaged by fire.

Crews that are rebuilding St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral, which was damaged in a 2005 suspected case of arson, placed a cross and steeple atop the new structure on Thursday.

The cross and steeple components arrived in Iqaluit by sealift earlier this month, after they had been assembled in Ottawa.

Project manager Alastair Leitch said the cross and steeple were built with Iqaluit's climate particularities in mind.

"Weather-wise, because we do have the bay right out here and the salt water, all of our fasteners are stainless steel," Leitch told CBC News on Thursday.

"The cross and basically all the lower components were all made out of aluminum, so it won't rust."

Once an iconic landmark in Nunavut's capital city, St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral was badly damaged in the Nov. 5, 2005, blaze, which RCMP believe was deliberately set.

$4.7M spent to date

The fire destroyed the cathedral's interior, rendering it structurally unsound. The building was demolished the following summer.

Fire badly damaged the original St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral on Nov. 5, 2005. Church services have been held at the parish hall while the cathedral is being rebuilt. ((CBC))

Cathedral members are hoping the new building — which can hold at least 400 people — will be ready in time for Christmas.

About $4.7 million has already been spent on the foundation, exterior shell, cross, steeple, and doors of the new church, according to the St. Jude's cathedral committee.

A skylight has also been produced, which Leitch said is one of the largest he has ever built in his eight-year career.

But committee member Ed Picco said another $2.5 million will be needed to finish the project, which will include electrical, plumbing, flooring and other indoor work.

Picco said the committee will continue to raise that money through auctions, craft sales and other fundraisers.