St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk)
Gare du Grand Tronc à St. Marys Junction
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada is a mid 19th-century single-storey limestone building in the Italianate design typical of the Grand Trunk Railway’s original Ontario stations. It stands in a field near a small enclave of buildings north of the town of St. Marys beside the junction where Canadian National Railways mainlines from Toronto diverge to cross the Canada / United States border at Windsor or Sarnia. The official recognition refers to the building on its footprint as of 1973.
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) was designated a national historic site in 1973 because:
- it is a rare example in stone of the small stations built for the Grand Trunk Railway; and
- it served for a time as the western terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway and later became an important junction on the railway.
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada portrays the Italianate design for a First Class Way Side Station created by British architect Francis Hopkins for stations of the early Grand Trunk Railway line. This railway, which ran from Sarnia, Ontario to Portland, Maine, was the first railway line of significant length built in Canada. The line was constructed in segments. This station is located on the western section of the main line between Toronto and Sarnia begun by Gzowski and Co. in 1856 and completed in 1860. The station itself was constructed in 1858 using limestone from the St. Marys area. As well as serving as a passenger and freight depot, the station accommodated the manual switch that routed early trains at the junction.
The heritage value of St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada resides in its rarity both as an original small Grand Trunk Railway Station, and as one built of stone on the western segment of Grand Trunk mainline. It also resides in the clarity with which this station represents the Grand Trunk Railway’s early operations as seen through the design, scale, composition, materials, assembly and siting of the station.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1973 and May 1979.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the rectangular footprint and single-storey massing of the station under a shallow pitched gable roof;
- its Italianate details such as the regular placement of its round-headed openings, deep overhanging eaves, ornate chimneys, bull's-eye window vents;
- its solid wall limestone construction with wood detailing;
- the skilled craftsmanship evident in its regularly coursed masonry, stone surrounds, and chimneys;
- surviving early interior furnishings and fittings in their materials, form, and finishes, including tongue-and-groove wainscot, wooden baseboards and picture rails, plaster walls and ceilings, wood shutters, windows, and panel doors;
- evidence of the original functional layout and interior spatial volumes.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1858/01/01 to 1970/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Station or Other Rail Facility
Architect / Designer
Gzowski and Co.
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection