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North Bay CPR Station

100, Ferguson Street, North Bay, Ontario, P1B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/03/23

North elevation of the North Bay CPR Station.; OHT, 2006
North Bay CPR Station - 2006
South elevation of the North Bay CPR Station; OHT, 2006
North Bay CPR Station - 2006
North elevation of the North Bay CPR (Union) Station.; http://www.vintagepostcards.org
North Bay CPR Station – early 20th century

Other Name(s)

North Bay CPR Station
Union Station

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The building at 100 Ferguson Street, known as the North Bay CPR Station, is situated between the end of Ferguson Street and the shore of Lake Nipissing in the City of North Bay. The two-storey limestone and sandstone clad building, influenced by the Richardson Romanesque style, was designed by the CPR Engineering Department and was constructed in 1903 with a major compatible addition in 1943-44.

The exterior and select elements of the interior are protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust conservation easement. The property now functions as a local museum.

Heritage Value

Situated at the base of Ferguson Street, the station's importance to North Bay is depicted in its alignment to this principal street of the city's downtown. The convergence of roads in front of the station, and the intensity of commercial development emanating from it, further attests to this importance. Within the vicinity of the station are North Bay's earliest buildings exemplifying its influence on the development pattern of the city.

The North Bay CPR Station is historically significant for its association with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Built in 1903 as the third station on the site, the substantial structure reflects North Bay's status as an important railway centre. North Bay was founded in 1882 due to westward progression and arrival of the CPR's trans-national line and North Bay's designation as a divisional point. The CPR's rail yards and associated services contributed significantly to the development of North Bay. The community's importance was solidified in 1889 with the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway line from Toronto (shared by the CPR), making the city a transportation hub. With the convergence of these two lines at Nippising Junction, five kilometres to the south-east, North Bay became a strategic junction for the lucrative transfer of freight and passengers between eastern and western routes, which had previously been conducted at Smith Falls. In 1901 this hub status was reaffirmed by the CPR's decision to substantially expand its North Bay operations, complete with a roundhouse, various service shops and this station. By 1908, the importance of the North Bay facility as a transfer point was diminished by the CPR's decision to build its own line from Toronto to its trans-national line via Sudbury, bypassing North Bay. The station remained a hub, however, serving as a union station for the CPR's mainline traffic and as the depot for both the Grand Trunk and Temiskaming and Northern Ontario (T and NO) Railways until 1921 when Grand Trunk and T and NO services were transferred to the Canadian National Railway station. From the station's inception until 1959 it also served as the district divisional headquarters housing CPR administrative offices.

The North Bay CPR Station is architecturally significant for its substantial character and subtle Richardson Romanesque influenced style. Designed by the Engineering Department of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the structure is distinguished by its stonework and size, making it comparable to stations found in communities that were larger than North Bay. As an important transfer location, and as a district divisional headquarters requiring administrative offices, the CPR found it justifiable to construct a significant depot in North Bay. Contained within the building was a larger than average waiting room, a separate ladies waiting room with fireplace, ticket agent's office, baggage room and a second storey office space. Influenced by the Richardson Romanesque style, the exterior is distinguished by its irregularly coursed and rock-faced limestone cladding with dark brown sandstone detailing. Shallow eaves and deeply recessed windows, that are round headed on the first storey and rectangular on the second floor divided by stone mullions, contribute to this characterization, though the simple sandstone pilasters are a classical embellishment. The pent roof that encircles the building with its heavy timber braces, and the first storey bay windows marking the agent's office are indicative of its station usage. In 1943-44 a second storey, three bays in length, with a gable roof was added to the eastern section of the station which had previously been one storey in height. The addition is remarkable for its similarity in detail to that of the original structure, especially considering the growing preference for the modern style by this time.

Source: OHT Easement files

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the North Bay CPR Station include its:
- role as North Bay's third CPR station, CPR district divisional headquarters
- role as a union station for the Grand Trunk and Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railways prior to 1921
- regular, rectangular, two-storey plan, seven bays in length and two bays in width
- bell-cast, hipped roof with shallow eaves
- masonry construction with irregularly coursed, rock-faced, light-coloured limestone cladding
- dark brown coloured sandstone detailing comprising the window and door surrounds, voussoirs, window mullions, sills, lintels and pilasters
- triple assembly windows
- rounded, multi-pane transom lights of the first storey
- pent roof that encircles the building atop the first story with heavy timber, triangular braces
- square sided bay windows of the first storey
- multiple (8) exterior doorways
- situation at the base of Ferguson Street and alignment with the centre of the street




Recognition Authority

Ontario Heritage Trust

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Ontario Heritage Foundation Easement

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

2005/01/01 to 2006/01/01
1903/01/01 to 1959/01/01
1943/01/01 to 1944/01/01
2001/01/01 to 2001/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type




Station or Other Rail Facility

Architect / Designer

Office of the Chief Engineer, CPR



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Conservation Easement Files Ontario Heritage Trust 10 Adelaide Street East Toronto, Ontario

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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