To honour the memory of Concert Properties’ late co-founder Jack Poole, his wife, Darlene Poole, has donated $2.5 million through the Jack and Darlene Poole Foundation towards the restoration of Christ Church Cathedral—the oldest surviving religious building in Vancouver.
“Jack and I always believed that at the heart of every great city there are a handful of iconic buildings that help represent the character of the community,” said Darlene Poole. “Christ Church Cathedral is one of those places.”
The money will enhance the church’s current $7.5-million campaign to construct a 100-foot bell spire that will house four bells, replace a leaky, asbestos-containing roof and expand the kitchen to serve 100 meals a day to Vancouver’s homeless.
David Podmore, Concert’s chairman and chief executive officer, who is helping with the Raise the Roof, Ring the Bells, Feed the Hungry campaign, says the project will protect the heritage of the church, create a community-focused amenity and support Vancouver’s most vulnerable population.
This isn’t the first time the 125-year-old cathedral will benefit from Poole’s investments. In the 1980s, a heritage density transfer allowed Poole to develop Park Place into a 35-storey office tower, adjacent to the church, in exchange for his promise to rehabilitate the on-site heritage building.
Since then, funds transferred to the church have resulted in social programs, a public redesign and an ongoing restoration program.