'When you see that, you think Cambridge': Iconic church undergoing $2.5M renovation

An iconic Cambridge church is getting a $2.5-million renovation (Carmen Wong / CTV Kitchener)

A $2.5-million renovation project is underway at the Central Presbyterian Church in Old Galt.

“This church, along with the bridge out, when you see that, you think Cambridge,” said Horst Wohlgemut, a church member.

Over time, the 141-year-old church, often featured in the city’s tourism campaigns, has started to show its age.

“We had leaks inside and we had problems with the stained glass windows,” said Wohlgemut.

With a loan, church members have committed to a $2.5-million renovation project to preserve the historic landmark that overlooks the Grand River.

Roof Tile Management, a heritage restoration company, has put up scaffolding to the top of the 190-foot steeple with plans to restore most of the building from the top down.

Henry Forget, the vice-president of operations for Roof Tile Management, said major repairs include the church’s slate roof and stonework.

“It’s been custom cut, by hand and all the sheet metal is replicating what was there," he said. "We’re grouting the inside of the wall and then repointing the entire tower."

The project is set to be complete by the end of 2021.

Wohlgemut hopes the community will invest in the city’s heritage and support their fundraiser.

“This church serves the downtown but we get a lot of people from out of the area that come,” he said.

About a third of their $2.5-million goal has been raised so far.