Canadian Pacific Railway Station
Medicine Hat Railway Station
Gare ferroviaire de Medicine Hat
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Medicine Hat is a one-and-a-half-storey railway station, built in 1906 and dramatically expanded in 1911-12. It is located in the city of Medicine Hat. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Medicine Hat reflects the early 20th-century prosperity of western Canada, and the close relationship between the railway and local development in western Canada. Originally constructed in 1906 as part of a major local CPR redevelopment project, the station was doubled in size in 1911-12 in response to the booming local economy.
The Medicine Hat station is an early and important example of the picturesque aesthetic used for larger CPR stations during the early 20th century. The 1911-12 expansion added a near-mirror image of the original station to its southern end, and maintained its picturesque appearance.
The station retains vestiges of its original station garden, one of western Canada’s earliest railway gardens. The station is recognized as a local heritage landmark and has provincial heritage designation.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Medicine Hat, Alberta, January 1992; Heritage Research Associates and Great Plains Research Consultants, Railway Station Report 062, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Medicine Hat include:
- its form and massing, consisting of two near-mirror images connected end on end;
- its elongated, rectangular plan;
- its picturesque design, evident in: the complex roof line; numerous gables, dormers and towers; and use of contrasting textures and colours;
- its complex roof line, consisting of a large hipped roof with deep, flared eaves over the lower storey, and a similar hipped roof punctuated with a variety of gabled dormers and two octagonal towers at the upper level;
- features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including: broad, hipped roofs; wide, overhanging eaves; large wooden brackets; and a projecting operator’s bay on the track side;
- its use of textured surfaces, including: a rough-faced Calgary sandstone to sill height; red brick on the upper walls; sandstone window sills, lintels and bracket corbels; stucco with shingles on the south tower; and wood shingles as a roofing material;
- its woodwork, including: eave brackets; and decorative half-timbering in the central dormers;
- its use of local materials, including: Medicine Hat red brick; and rough-faced Calgary sandstone;
- surviving original window units, with small-paned upper sash and transoms;
- surviving original interior finishes and details.
Government of Canada
Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act
Heritage Railway Station
1911/01/01 to 1912/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Station or Other Rail Facility
Architect / Designer
Engineering Department, Canadian Pacific Railway
J. McDiarmid Construction Co. Ltd.
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec
Cross-Reference to Collection