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406 - 1 Street SW, High River, Alberta, T1V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/09/13

Canadian Pacific Railway Station, High River; Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2005
Front facade
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Other Name(s)

High River Railway Station (Museum)
Railway Station (Museum)
High River Railway Station
High River Train Station
CPR Station
C. P. R. Station
C.P.R. Station
Museum of the Highwood

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1911/01/01 to 1912/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station is a one and one-half storey building situated on four lots directly east of the Town of High River's commercial core. Built between 1911 and 1912, the station features a rough-faced sandstone exterior, bellcast hip roof, wide bracketed eaves, and gable dormers.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in High River lies in its fine and rare representation of early sandstone railway station architecture. It also possesses heritage value for its historic role as the main facilitator of transportation for the district and as a symbol of the centrality of the railways in opening Alberta to settlement.

High River's Canadian Pacific Railway Station is an architectural rarity in the Prairies - a rural sandstone railway station not constructed according to a standardized plan. Most other stations in the rural communities of western Canada were made of wood and built on the basis of architectural templates. The High River station was originally constructed in Calgary in 1893 and consisted of two buildings joined by a continuous canopy. The desire for a new station in Calgary and the growing need for improved railway facilities in the promising settlements of High River and Claresholm convinced the Canadian Pacific Railway to dismantle the Calgary station stone by stone between 1910 and 1911 and to reconstruct - with modifications - the west half of it in High River and the east half in Claresholm. Built between 1911 and 1912, the High River station featured a rough-faced sandstone exterior, bellcast hip roof, and wide bracketed eaves. Unlike its predecessor in Calgary, the High River station possessed no second floor and included decorative dormers on only two elevations - the front and track-side - rather than on all four. This impressive sandstone structure, built according to a modification of the original Calgary plan, remains a significant local landmark in High River and an elegant model of railway design.

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station in High River was intimately related to the economic and social development of the surrounding district. In 1891, construction on a southern extension of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway line was initiated. High River initially emerged along the track as a siding and was later integrated into a newly subdivided townsite. The community expanded rapidly. In 1901 it was incorporated as a village; by 1911, it boasted five banks, four hotels, and had become a stock- and grain-shipping centre for southern Alberta. High River's growing importance and future promise suggested the need for an upgrade of the simple wood frame station erected in the community in 1893. The new sandstone station was completed in 1912 and became the main transportation facilitator in the district between 1912 and 1965. Improvements in highway infrastructure led to the closure of the station in 1965, though the Dayliner continued to stop at High River until 1971. It remains a powerful symbol of the historic significance of the railway in fostering economic and social development in Alberta.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 474)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in High River include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- wood-shingled, bellcast hip roof;
- decorative dormers and rough-faced sandstone chimney;
- rough-faced sandstone exterior;
- wide bracketed eaves;
- fenestration pattern and style, including stippled office windows;
- pattern and style of doors;
- box beams in roof;
- original interior features, including wood panelling, mouldings, flooring, doors, windows, fixtures, and fittings.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

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

Function - Category and Type




Station or Other Rail Facility

Architect / Designer

Edward Calonna (Calgary design)



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 474)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Front facade


The Museum of the Highwood is a one and one-half storey sandstone building. Originally the High River Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station, it is situated prominently along the…


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