The principal seat of the Catholic archdiocese of Toronto, St. Michael's is another 19th-century neo-Gothic structure. Built between 1845 and 1848, it originally had a plain interior design with clear-glass windows and white walls. That changed in 1850, when Armand de Charbonnel became the second Bishop of Toronto. Charbonnel was a Frenchman who lived in Montréal, and at first, he was so opposed to his new post that he traveled to Rome to beg Pope Pius IX to change his mind. The pope had other ideas and used Charbonnel's visit to consecrate him in the Sistine Chapel. However, when the new bishop finally arrived in Toronto in September 1850, he threw himself into beautifying St. Michael's. He sold lands that he owned in France and donated the proceeds to the cathedral. He bought dazzling stained-glass windows from France, built interior chapels, and commissioned paintings; he also imported the Stations of the Cross from France (that's why they're in French).
St. Michael's is particularly venerated for its musical tradition. It has its own boys' choir -- which has won awards internationally -- and of the four Masses they sing weekly, three are on Sunday.