Description of Historic Place
The Former Canadian National Railways (VIA Rail/GO Transit) Station at Brampton is a one-and-a-half-storey, brick railway station built in 1907. It is located on high ground in downtown Brampton. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.
The Former Canadian National Railways (VIA Rail/GO Transit) Station at Brampton reflects the turn-of-the-century prosperity of the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), and the optimism of both the GTR and the town of Brampton. The station represents Brampton’s continuing economic dependence on the railway.
The Brampton station combines the wide-arched openings of the Romanesque Revival style with details of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its design is ambitious in relation to the size of the town. The general organization of the facades, and the interior plan, are typical of GTR stations.
The station retains its relationship to a former express building on its west side.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Former CNR Station (VIA Rail), Brampton, Ontario, March 1993; Anne M. de Fort-Menares, Railway Station Report, Former Canadian National Railways Station, now GO Transit and VIA Rail, Brampton, Ontario.
Character-defining elements of Former Canadian National Railways (VIA Rail/GO Transit) Station at Brampton include:
-its massing, comprised of three, low, rectangular forms (a central block with aligned east and west wings) capped by high, hipped roofs
-the underlying symmetry of the building, with dominant central axis
-its Romanesque Revival style, evident in: the large, arched openings with multiple header courses and stone keystones; the triplet of deeply set windows on the second storey gable; the round-arched window and door openings; the round towers with conical roofs; the square entrance tower with corbelled arcading; and the textural masonry
-details borrowed from the Arts and Crafts Movement, including: emphasis on contrasting but durable surface materials; variety in the shape of openings and dormers; and dramatic angles
-features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including: its rectangular plan; alignment to the track; bellcast, hip roofs; projecting operator’s bay; and wide, overhanging eaves with decorative brackets
-its complex roof line, consisting of: a slightly bellcast, hip roof over the central block; lower, bellcast, hip roofs over the flanking wings; an intersecting gable roof over the projecting operator’s bay on the track side; and conical and pyramidal roofs over three towers on the town side
-the highly articulated and distinctly different character of each of the town (north) and track (south) elevations
-the town elevation, characterized by: a central, square entrance tower with decorative, corbelled arcading and a truncated, pyramidal roof; and two, round towers with conical roofs flanking the central tower
-the wide, overhanging eaves with decorative brackets which form a canopy around the perimeter of the station; and the narrower eaves and smaller brackets of the three towers on the town elevation
-the track elevation, characterized by a central, projecting operator’s bay with a two-storey frontispiece
-its fenestration, consisting of: large, vertically divided round-arched windows symmetrically placed on the track side; round-arched transoms above windows and doors on all elevations; and a triplet of windows on the second storey gable
-its plan, with the central block housing the passenger waiting room and freight office; the west wing housing the baggage area and office space; and the east wing serving as an open porte-cochère
-its textural masonry, including: rock-faced granite foundations; vitrified brick walls; and deeply recessed, mortar joints between bricks
-surviving original exterior woodwork, including: window sash and mullions; and narrow, boarded soffits
-surviving original interior finishes, including: a section of beaded, board wall in the west end of the office area.