Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station at Rigaud is situated just inside Quebec on the Ontario-Quebec border in a residential area on the north edge of Rigaud. It is a two storey mansard-roofed stone building whose design was inspired by the traditional Quebec house even though its construction clearly conveys its 1940 date of origin.
The CPR station at Rigaud was designated a heritage railway station for its historical importance as well as its architectural and environmental qualities.
The present CPR station at Rigaud was built in 1940 to replace an earlier (1891) station in Rigaud. This is a suburban station constructed at the terminus of the Montreal-Rigaud commuter line although Rigaud was once a stop on the CPR’s Montreal-Ottawa route. It is an excellent example of the interdependence which often existed between social-economic development of small communities and the railway. The presence of rail transportation stimulated development of Rigaud as a religious centre, permitting students to travel to attend educational institutions and the faithful to make religious pilgrimages.
Architecturally, the Rigaud station was inspired by the values of the Quebecois Revival. Its design is based on the traditional Quebec house, incorporating such features as a mansard roof decorated by dormers, and rustic rose-tinted stone walls. By choosing to employ this style for construction of the first Quebec station on the Ontario-Quebec border, the CPR both signalled entry into a new province and paid hommage to the francophone community.
Heritage value of the Rigaud CPR station resides in those aspects of its design which reflect the values of the Quebecois revival school, its exterior and interior integrity, and a domestic form and scale that permit it to integrate readily with the surrounding residential neighbourhood.
Source: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Rigaud, Quebec, August 1994. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-227, 1993.
Character-defining elements of the Rigaud Canadian Pacific Railway Station include:
- the irregular rectangular footprint of the station with a projecting main section,
- its massing as a two storey main section with recessed wings, each under a separate mansard roof a central gable and hipped cap, and a flat roofed one storey addition at one end,
- the substantial proportions of the original station,
- the traditional domestic form of the original station,
- the balance inherent in definition of the original station, both vertically and horizontally,
- the prominent roof definition of the original station,
- the presence of a projecting platform on both original wings of the station, and as an extended line incorporating the addition into the overall design of the building,
- its modest vernacular details with their concession to 1940s modern design: slightly bellcast ends on the roof of the main pavillion, shallow square-headed windows, restrained dormers with square heads,
- the varying textures of its original materials: rustic pink stone walls, cut stone foundation, asphalt shingles on the original building, smooth stone surrounds, wooden details, doors and windows,
- all original fabric, furnishings and finishes inside the station, in particular the flat sand finish of the upper walls of the ground floor, their surviving wood mouldings, and the ornate motifs painted in pockets on the ceiling, the glazed tile on the lower walls, the terrazzo floors, original woodwork such as that found on the doors, ticket booth, desk and agent’s office, and the wood and wrought iron ticket counter,
- respect for the station’s original colour scheme of cream walls with green glazed tile, and dark brown stained wood accents,
- continued legibility of the station’s original functional and spatial configuration, particularly the sense of vast interior space created by the use of interior partitions and the expanse of high ceiling,
- the presence of natural light throughout the structure, and particularly in the waiting room,
- retention of longstanding routes of access and circulation,
- the overall integrity of the building’s form, plan, material, and detail.