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Avondale Railway Station

Avondale, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/02/22

Exterior view of front and side facade, Avondale Railway Station (Avondale, NL); 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Avondale Railway Station (Avondale, NL)
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1870/01/01 to 1880/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Avondale Railway Station is a two storey Second Empire style building, with attached warehouse, located in Avondale, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Avondale Railway Station is designated because of its historical associations and architectural significance.

The building is historically important because of its association with communications and transportation in Newfoundland. The building was constructed either in 1870 or 1880 to serve as a repeater station for the first telegraph land line serving St. John’s. In 1898 the Reid Newfoundland Company entered into an agreement with the Newfoundland government to operate existing railway lines across the island. Avondale served as a freight and passenger station, being an important terminus for branches serving Conception Bay and Placentia Bay.

The Reid Newfoundland Company played an important role in the development of transportation in Newfoundland. In addition to operating a mainline between the east and west coasts, the Reid Company also ran several smaller branch lines. The Reid’s were promoters of the pulp and paper and mining industries, as well as operators of a coastal boat service and telegraph line. Twenty-five years after assuming control of the railway, the Reid Newfoundland Company began to concentrate on other development schemes and wished to rid itself of the unprofitable railway. In 1923, following much political manoeuvring, the government of the Dominion of Newfoundland once again assumed responsibility for the railway, as well as the coastal boat service and St. John’s drydock. With Confederation in 1949, the Canadian National Railway took over the operation of railway lines in the province. Until its closure in 1984, the CNR used the Avondale station as a terminus for their passenger and freight service in Conception Bay.

The building has architectural value as a noteworthy example of Second Empire style typically employed in Anglo-Newfoundland Telegraph Company buildings. This includes a mansard roof and arched dormers. It is of further importance as it is one of the oldest surviving railway stations in Newfoundland.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador designation file M-007-001, Avondale - Railway Station

Character-Defining Elements

Those relating to its use as a railway station include:
-Reid Newfoundland Company colours on exterior (yellow and green);
-positioning of windows and door on front facade;
-overhang on front facade;
-location of building adjacent to and oriented toward railway bed.

Those architectural features reflective of the Newfoundland interpretation of the Second Empire style, including:
-mansard roof;
-roof and eaves trim;
-return on eaves;
-dormer size, style, trim and placement;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-corner boards;
-number of storeys;
-dimensions of building.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Communications Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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