Via Rail and CNR Station
VIA Rail and Canadian National Railways Station
Gare de Via Rail et du Canadien National
Gare Via Rail / Chemins de fer nationaux du Canada
Links and documents
1929/01/01 to 1930/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Via Rail/CNR Station is located to the south of Churchill, adjacent to the rail yard and not far from the Churchill River. A rectangular composition with a complex interplay of roof forms, it consists of a modest main block with a two-storey projecting pavilion and an extension topped by a hipped roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Churchill Via Rail/CNR Station is a Recognized Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The construction of the Churchill Via Rail/CNR Station is closely associated with the beginning of the modern era in the middle north of Canada. Along with the associated rail and port facilities, it signaled modern expansion into the sub-arctic regions of the middle north of Canada. The station represents the important role that the railways played in the development of the north. The building is key in the development of Churchill.
The Churchill Via Rail/CNR Station is a very good example of a building which reveals the influence of both the late Queen Anne Revival and the Arts and Crafts styles. In particular it illustrates the styles emphasis on picturesque design and massing that are at once distinctive and typical of Canadian railway architecture.
The environmental significance of the Churchill Via Rail/CNR Station resides in the integrity of the building’s relationship to its site. The station contributes to the commercial and transport related character created by the port, by grain elevators and other structures in its environs. It also has landmark value since it is the first building encountered on arrival in Churchill by rail.
Sources: Leslie Maitland, Via Rail; CNR Station, Churchill, Manitoba. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 99-142, Via Rail; CNR Station, Churchill, Manitoba. Heritage Character Statement 99-142.
The following character-defining elements of the Via Rail/CNR Station in Churchill should be respected.
Its Queen Anne Revival and Arts and Crafts styles and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the rectangular form, low massing and complex interplay of roof forms;
- the one-and-a-half-storey main block with asbestos shingle siding, the two-storey projecting pavilion and the one-storey extension;
- the hipped roof of varying pitches;
- the roof of the one-storey portion of the station that extends around the building creating wide bracketed eaves on the trackside and over the street side entrance;
- the wooden, horizontal banding applied to the base of the building;
- the asymmetrical arrangement of the windows and doors;
- the remaining interior fittings such as the ticket counter and wooden benches in the manager’s office.
The manner in which the Via Rail/CNR Station reinforces the commercial and transport-related setting within Churchill and its associated landscape and is an important local landmark, as evidenced in:
- the station's ongoing historical relationship of the structure to its site such as the adjacent rail yard, associated platform, parking lots and service yards on the other three sides;
- the station's functional nature within its commercial/transport related setting;
- its importance as a major focal point for arriving and departing rail passengers;
- its ongoing role as a railway station, which makes it an important landmark building for rail passengers.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Station or Other Rail Facility
Architect / Designer
Canadian National Railway Company Architectural Division
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection