Description of Historic Place
The Former Canadian National Railway Station at Newmarket was built in 1900 by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), and later acquired by Canadian National Railways (CNR). It is a modest one-storey Queen Anne building located at 450 Davis Dr. on the CNR line.
The Former Canadian National Railway Station at Newmarket has been designated a heritage railway station because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.
The Newmarket station was built in 1900 by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) to handle increased passenger and freight traffic on what was already an established rail line.
The line had been built through Newmarket in the 1850s by the Ontario, Simcoe and Lake Huron Union Company Railway, which was later acquired by the GTR. Construction of this station was an expression of GTR support for the continuing growth of Newmarket as an industrial and agricultural shipping centre. At the time it was built, the GTR was up-grading facilities, an activity which included rebuilding many of its stations. The Newmarket GTR station is a simple timber-frame building with wood cladding applied in picturesque patterns, extracting a maximum visual effect from a relatively simple technique. Its detail is domestic in scale and typical of the Queen Anne Revival style.
The heritage value of the Newmarket station resides in its domestic scale and detailing, in the quality of its exterior and interior woodwork, and in its role as part of an historic industrial landscape.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Former Newmarket Grand Trunk Railway Station, March 1993; Heritage Assessment Report RSR-138, 1992.
Character-defining elements of the Former Canadian National Railway Station include:
- the rectangular footprint, one-storey massing, and hipped roof of the station, broken by gables and chimneys,
- the use of large gables to incorporate visual interest in the roofline from three perspectives,
- the simplicity of the station’s original symmetrical form,
- its Queen Anne Revival proportions,
- the fine balance inherent in its overall vertical definition,
- the high degree of articulation of its exterior wall surfaces, divided into three horizontal bands through the use of horizontal planks as string courses and through contrasting woodwork patterns,
- the original rhythmic placement of apertures below a consistent string course,
- its stick-style treatment of applied framing elements and wooden cladding applied in ornamental patterns; scroll-sawn bargeboards, pressed panels, spool trim and signboards, battened panels, and diagonally set siding,
- the integrity and legibility of its original materials; wood siding, trim and details,
- the station’s platform frame construction technology,
- all original fabric inside the station, in particular surviving Georgia pine paneling on walls, cornices, coves and ceilings, surviving cornice trim and framed diagonal wainscot boarding,
- continued legibility of the station’s original functional spaces and spatial volumes,
- remnants of the station’s early Saginaw brick platform.