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Canadian National Railway (CNR) Station

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/08/25

Former Canadian National Railway Station Classified Federal Heritage Building; (B. Potyondi, Great Plains Research Consultants, 1991.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)

Canadian National Railway (CNR) Station
Former Canadian National Railway Station
Ancienne gare du Canadien National

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The former Canadian National Railway (CNR) station at Jasper National Park of Canada is a one-storey, irregularly massed building. Its rustic materials and robust detailing relate to its park setting. Its steeply pitched roof provides the building’s central mass and focus on both main facades. On the town and track sides it is framed by high-cut pointed gables. The area between these peaks contains a low shed roof dormer cut into the roof slope. On the track-side, it flares out over the vertical surface to create a small overhanging canopy. On the town-side, the roof slope extends directly down to form a porte cochere or carriage entrance. A small bay is located under this platform flanked by recessed station entrances. The walls are faced in off-white rough stucco, the building also has a cobblestone wainscoting and chimney. The building is located to the east of the junction of Connaught Drive and Elm Avenue, on the site of the original CNR station. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The CNR Station is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:

Historical value:
The CNR Station at Jasper is a very good example of the theme of early Canadian tourism. The present station also symbolizes the expansionist railway rivalry, which helped to settle the West. It is an early example of a station built to serve luxury resort facilities. It was one of the rare large stations built by the newly formed CNR after its formation in 1919. It also illustrates the pioneering early years of the national parks system where tourists exploring the newly opened Canadian west would use the station as a dramatic entrance to Jasper Park.

Architectural value:
The CNR Station is a very good example of a railway station inspired by the values of the Arts and Crafts movement. Characterized by an air of tidy informality, it is an early example of a station built to serve luxury resort facilities. It was constructed to be functional, and used good quality materials and craftsmanship. It is consistent with the motifs of the post 1918 Arts and Crafts movement whereby local building materials were used whenever possible.

Environmental value:
The building remains a prominent landmark within Jasper because of its scale, its design and its function. The architecture and materials harmonize with the majestic mountain surroundings. Emphasizing natural building materials and having an asymmetrical form, the station successfully complements its environment.

Heritage Research Associates, Ottawa and Great Plains Research Consultants. Former CNR Railways Station Jasper National Park. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 94-010; Former CNR Railways Station, Jasper National Park, Heritage Character Statement 94-010.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the CNR Station Building at Jasper should be respected.

Its Arts and Crafts style and very good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its scale, irregular massing and overall design;
- the rustic manner in which the buildings vocabulary of texture and natural materials
compliments the Jasper Park setting;
- the cobblestone veneer base;
- the limestone drip course;
- the brick walls stuccoed in off white;
- the wooden soffits and fascias;
- the multi-pane windows;
- the interior architectural vocabulary and spatial layout.

The manner in which the building reinforces the natural setting at the foothills of the Rockies.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Station or Other Rail Facility


Architect / Designer

G.C. Briggs



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




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