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Former Grand Trunk Railway Station

Glass St., St. Marys, Ontario, N4X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/11/01

Corner view of the Former Grand Trunk Railway Station, showing both the back and side façades, 1992.; M. Carter, 1992.
General view of the place
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Other Name(s)

Former Grand Trunk Railway Station
St. Mary’s Junction Station
St. Mary’s Junction Station

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1858/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The former Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) station at St. Mary's Junction expresses the design of the initial GTR stations. It was built in 1858, and its mid 19th century Georgian form, stone walls and distinctive roof brackets still distinguish it from its surroundings today. This single storey station stands isolated in a field beside the track at the early railroad junction north of the town of St. Mary’s.

Heritage Value

The station at St. Mary's Junction has been designated a heritage railway station because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.

The former Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) station at St. Mary's Junction was built in 1858 and is one of the largest and most original surviving GTR stations. Designed as a First Class Way Side Station by British architect Francis Thompson, it follows the modest Italianate style typical of contemporary British station design. It was constructed to the north of the town of St. Mary’s as a (manual) control point for the junction of rail lines from Toronto to Sarnia and to London. Young Thomas Edison worked here as a controller during the early days of the station. By that time St. Mary’s was already an established community, although it subsequently prospered from the nation-wide market the GTR provided for its local limestone.

The heritage value of the St. Mary's Junction Station resides in both its rarity and in the clarity with which it witnesses the design, composition, materials, and setting of original GTR stations. Value resides in its balanced massing and proportions, and in the elements of its design which express the standard early GTR Italianate style, form and detailing.

Source: Heritage Character Statement, former St. Mary’s Grand Trunk Railway Station, May 1993. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-143, 1992.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Former Grand Trunk Railway Station include:

- the rectangular footprint and block-like single storey massing of the station under a shallow pitched gable roof,
- its simple symmetrical composition, balanced proportions, and handsome aspect,
- the regular definition of its arcaded apertures,
- its Italianate details: arched openings, deep overhanging eaves, ornate end chimneys, circular gable window vents,
- the integrity of its exterior materials, particularly its local limestone and wood,
- the skilled craftsmanship with which its stonework is executed visible in regular stone courses, stone surrounds, arcades and chimneys,
- its solid wall construction,
- the integrity of its surviving early interior furnishings and fittings, their (primarily wood) materials, early form, composition, craftsmanship and finishes: including but not exclusive to the station’s tongue-and-groove wainscot, wooden baseboards and picture rails and plaster walls and ceilings,
- continued legibility of the volumes and functions of specific spaces within the building.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act

Recognition Type

Heritage Railway Station

Recognition Date

1992/11/01

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

Francis Thompson

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

2103

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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