Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Kenora is a one-and-a-half-storey, brick and stone railway station, built in 1899. It is centrally located in the city of Kenora. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Kenora is associated with the development of the tourist industry in the Lake of the Woods area. The promotion of Kenora as a tourist destination for Winnipeg residents and the growth of the railway divisional point contributed to the town’s rapid growth at the turn of the century.
The Kenora station is a good example of the Picturesque aesthetic applied to a railway station. Its rich and varied exterior, built of local materials, reflects the CPR’s desire to create a memorable depot for a tourism destination. Its interior plan is typical of railway stations built between 1890 and 1920.
The Kenora station retains its relationship with the tracks and with the detached one-and-a-half-storey Express Office and Lunch Room, built in 1921 of rough-cast brick with English Tudor detailing. The style, materials and functions of the two buildings are sympathetic, and together they provided a complete set of station facilities situated in an arc around the tracks. Other surviving aspects of the site include: terraced stone embankments from the former station gardens; a commemorative monument to a local CPR doctor; and the relationship of the site to the commercial and institutional districts to the south of the station. The station continues to form part of picturesque viewscapes, including: an oblique view to the entry from Matheson Street South; overlooking views from the bridge on Matheson Street North; and distant views from Railway Street. The Kenora station is regarded as one of the community’s most significant heritage buildings.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Kenora, Ontario, April 1992; Heritage Research Associates and Great Plains Research Consultants, Railway Station Report 073, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Kenora, Ontario.
Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Kenora include:
-its Picturesque design, evident in: its rich and varied exterior; its distinctive roofline; and the use of local materials
-its simple, rectangular plan below the eave line
-its complex, but symmetrical massing above the eave line, consisting of a central, one-and-a-half storey section with a steeply pitched hip roof; flanking one-storey sections with gablet roofs; protruding, two-storey, segmental bays on both track and town sides; and large, hipped-gable dormers flanking the bays on both elevations
-its varied roofline, consisting of: a slightly bellcast, hip roof on the one-and-a-half storey central section; a segmental dormer roof capping the projecting bay on the track side; a full, six-sided conical roof with a small, hooded dormer capping the projecting bay on the town side; hipped-gable dormers flanking the bays; a distinctive brick chimney with corbelled top and granite cap; and a broad, gablet roof covering the one-storey wings and extending to form a large, overhanging platform canopy on all four sides of the station
-the wide, overhanging platform canopy, with: exposed rafter ends, and large, plain wooden brackets set in granite bases
-its use of decorative masonry, distinguished by a wide variety of detail treatments including: brick voussoir lintels with keystones over ground-floor windows and doors; granite lintels and continuous sills on the second storey; brick corbels supporting the second-storey sills; a granite date-stone panel below the second-storey windows on the front facade; and a base comprised of granite laid up in random sizes
-its use of local brick and stone, including smooth-faced brick in an orange-red colour, produced by Brinkman’s brickyard in Kenora; medium-grained, pale-pink and grey granite, quarried by the CPR near Ignace, just east of Kenora
-its slender, gracefully-arched door and window openings
-its fenestration, including: large, tripartite windows with arched heads in the waiting areas; high-level awning windows in the baggage rooms; and tall, single-hung windows in the bays
-a surviving original exterior door unit at the north-east corner of the building, consisting of: a broad, stained, oak door with a fully glazed upper half, and four blind panels below; a large, arched, transom window overhead; and an unpainted, wood, screen door
-surviving original transoms and wooden jams at the baggage room doors
-existing interior partitions which reflect the original ground floor plan, consisting of: a general waiting room; an office; a baggage room; and a central stair hall
-surviving original interior finishes in the baggage room and east wing, including: high, tongue-and-groove wainscoting; plaster finishes; intact sections of window and door architraves; and a granite, segmental arch separating the baggage room from the former express room
-surviving original interior finishes in the second-storey apartment, including: a staircase linking the first and second floors; plaster ceilings in the former dining room; sloped ceilings in the former bedroom; and fragments of the original, simply detailed baseboard.