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VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station

4267 Bridge Street, Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/06/01

General view of the VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station, showing a façade, 1993.; A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1993.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Niagara Falls Railway Station
Gare ferroviaire de Niagara Falls
Canadian National Railways Station
Gare du Canadien National
Great Western Railway Station
Gare de la Compagnie du grand Chemin de fer Occidental
VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1879/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station at Niagara Falls is a Gothic Revival railway station built in 1879. It is prominently located in the core of the city of Niagara Falls. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building.

Heritage Value

The VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways (CNR) Station at Niagara Falls represents the role of the Niagara peninsula as a strategic link in the North American railway system. The station reflects the intense competition between railway companies in Ontario in the 1870s and 1880s. Built by the Great Western Railway (GWR) in 1879, the Niagara Falls station became a Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) station after the 1882 amalgamation of GWR by GTR. The improvement of railway facilities supported the growth of Niagara Falls’ vital agriculture and tourism industries.

The Niagara Falls railway station is an unusual example of a Gothic Revival railway station and an exemplary example of the design work of Joseph Hobson, GWR Chief Engineer. Its large and imposing design and brick construction reflect its position as the eastern terminal and international entrance to the GWR system.

The station retains its prominent location at the core of the city, within a district that developed primarily because of the railway.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station, Niagara Falls, Ontario, August 1994; Anne M. de Fort-Menares, Railway Station Report 217, VIA Rail Station/Canadian National Railways Station, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station at Niagara Falls include:
- its imposing form, comprised of a large, two-storey main block with a hipped-gable roof and flanked by long, one-storey wings with hipped-gable roofs;
- its Gothic Revival style, evident in its asymmetrical massing, prominent roofline, vertically oriented elements and Gothic detailing;
- its vertical emphasis, evident in the steep, hipped-gable roofs, the steep, central gable on each of track and street sides, the tall, narrow, Gothic-arched window and door openings and the cut-stone voussoirs accenting the openings;
- the horizontal elements which balance the vertical, including the exceptional length of the building and the distinctive horizontal banding comprised of a base course and decorative brick courses;
- its high-quality masonry, composed of warm-red brick laid in a Flemish, cross bond, fine, recessed joints in a buff-grey mortar and hammered-stone accents;
- its masonry detailing, including a projecting, bevelled base course, brick courses at window-sill level at the spring of the arches, at the second-storey floor line and under the eaves, quoined, brick corner-piers, raised, brick borders around openings and hammered-stone keystones, springer voussoirs and window sills;
- its fenestration, including the regular, balanced pattern of Gothic-arched openings along track and street facades and bull’s-eye window openings in both north and south gables;
- the surviving original window and door units;
- the surviving wooden decorative features, including narrow, boarded soffits, heavy, scrolled brackets with trefoils and sections of moulded fascia;
- the surviving original interior door and window trim.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act

Recognition Type

Heritage Railway Station

Recognition Date

1994/06/01

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Transport-Rail
Station or Other Rail Facility

Architect / Designer

Joseph Hobson

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

2188

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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