Description of Historic Place
The Canadian National Railways (CNR) Station at Biggar is a one-and-a-half-storey, light timber frame structure built in the first decade of the 20th century. It is located near the southern boundary of the town of Biggar. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.
The Canadian National Railways (CNR) Station at Biggar reflects the confidence which permeated the newly-formed Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR) and its parent company, the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) during western Canada’s early-20th-century boom. Biggar was created by the GTPR, and its status as a divisional point provided a sustained period of economic growth.
The Biggar railway station is a good example of a western Canadian, rural, railway station design prior to World War I. Its scale is comparable to other divisional point stations. Its standard design was influenced by the “artistic” bungalow style of the early 20th century.
The station is recognized by the community of Biggar for its heritage value and its historical association with the railway. It retains its viewplane as the terminus of the main north-south thoroughfare in town, and its traditional relationship with the tracks and adjacent grain elevators.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian National Railways Station, Biggar, Saskatchewan, May 14, 1996; Murray Peterson, Railway Station Report 275, Canadian National Railways Station, Biggar, Saskatchewan.
Character-defining elements that relate to the heritage value of the Canadian National Railways Station at Biggar include, for example:
-its low, horizontal massing, consisting of an elongated, rectangular, one-and-a-half-storey structure capped by a prominent hip roof, with projecting bays on both track (south) and town (north) facades capped by gabled dormers
-its roof line, consisting of: a high, bell-cast, hip roof; large, gabled dormers over the projecting bays on both track and town sides; a single, shed dormer beside the larger dormer on each side; wide, overhanging eaves carried on curved timber brackets; and square, brick, chimney stacks
-features typical of early-20th-century, rural, railway stations, including: a broad, hip roof; wide, overhanging eaves; oversized wooden brackets; and a projecting operator’s bay
-the asymmetrical arrangement of window and door openings, singly, in pairs and in various window-and-door combinations, many with multiple-light transoms above
-surviving original fenestration, consisting of: tall, rectangular, double-hung window units, with multiple-light over single-light sash
-surviving original doors, consisting of: framed-and-panelled single and double doors; and sliding, freight doors with panels of vertical and diagonal “V”-joint boarding
-surviving original wood cladding, consisting of: dropped siding on the upper section of wall; and a low dado consisting of plain chair rail, vertical “V”-joint board panelling, and plain baseboard
-surviving original interior finishes, including: fir and pine boarding and trim