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Pacific Roundhouse

Pacific, Colombie-Britannique, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 2013/02/22

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Roundhouse at Pacific; Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, 2014
GTP Railway Roundhouse at Pacific, 1922
Foundation of the GTP Roundhouse at Pacific; Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, 2011
Foundation of the GTP Roundhouse at Pacific, 2011
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Autre nom(s)

Pacific Roundhouse
Grand Trunk Pacific Roundhouse at Pacific

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction

Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2015/02/16

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Pacific Roundhouse consists of a concrete foundation with associated discarded brick piles and railway track remnants. It is located on the west side of the Skeena River, east of the CNR railway tracks in the now-abandoned railway town of Pacific, British Columbia. Accessible only by train or boat, the roundhouse site is located on District Lot 919, approximately 120 railway miles from Prince Rupert and about 35 km northeast of Terrace in northwestern British Columbia.

Valeur patrimoniale

The roundhouse at Pacific, British Columbia is valued for its historical, engineering and cultural significance, particularly as the remains of an important railway repair and maintenance structure associated with the Grand Trunk Pacific railway.As part of Canada’s second transcontinental railway, the British Columbia portion of the Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP) was constructed between 1908 and 1914, connecting the Canadian Prairies to Prince Rupert on the northwest coast. The construction of the GTP was considered to be the single most important influence on the opening up and development of central BC. In 1920, due to ongoing financial difficulties, the GTP was placed under the management of Canadian National Railways (CNR), and by 1923 was completely absorbed into the CNR.

Constructed in 1915, the roundhouse is significant for its utilitarian nature, being built to the GTP standard plan (Plan 120-115) typical of its time. The remaining physical foundations directly reflect the plans for a large quarter-circle-shaped building with track leading into 12 stalls, each with a below-grade maintenance pit used for the repair of locomotives and rolling stock. A large turntable in front of the roundhouse was used to align the locomotives with the stalls and was connected to a railway wye, which in turn joined the mainline track.

As the first divisional point east of the Prince Rupert terminus, Pacific was a significant part of GTP operations in BC. In addition to the roundhouse, Pacific’s railway infrastructure included a substantial passenger station (CNR Plan 100-159), freight and baggage sheds, water tank, oil tank, and coaling and sanding facilities. The selection of a railway divisional point often spurred additional economic activity resulting in the growth of the associated community. Divisional points were typically only 110 to 140 miles apart due to the mechanical limitations of steam locomotives and rolling stock of the time. Originally named Nicholl, Pacific’s importance was such that it was renamed in 1913, reflecting the company’s name of Grand Trunk Pacific. With increasing advances in locomotive technology from steam to diesel, railway operations became centralized, and as a result the Pacific roundhouse was demolished to its foundations in 1959. The divisional point was transferred to Terrace, and eventually all maintenance was relocated to Prince George, BC and Edmonton, Alberta.

The roundhouse is important for its construction materials and form. The remaining moss-covered foundations are formed of concrete; brick, glass and steel were the other primary materials employed in its construction. The GTP was known for its use of good-quality materials. The foundations themselves reflect the original association of the roundhouse with its landscape through their physical location, thickness, shape, detail and varying heights relative to the existing grade of the land. Their form corresponds directly to the GTP construction plans.

The association of this site with the contractor, Carter-Halls-Aldinger, is also important. This Winnipeg firm was responsible for many buildings, both utilitarian and aesthetic, throughout the Canadian West, including other GTP roundhouses in prairie towns such as Watrous and Biggar in Saskatchewan and Wainwright in Alberta.

The Pacific Roundhouse is valued as a key part of Western Canada’s transcontinental history, and for the fact that such structures are becoming increasingly rare. The traces of the roundhouse provide an opportunity to understand the scale and layout of the structure and its relationship to the railway tracks, the Skeena River and the former townsite of Pacific. Vegetation patterns associated with the foundations provide clues to its location and represent the inevitable encroachment of nature on the built structure.

Source: Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, Planning Department, Terrace

Éléments caractéristiques

The character-defining elements of the Pacific Roundhouse include:

Site, Setting and Landscape
- Location of the roundhouse relative to the river, existing railway tracks and the former townsite of Pacific
- Landscape clues as to the location of the railway tracks leading to the wye
- The flat land on which the roundhouse, railway wye and turntable are located

Engineering Features
- The concrete foundations in their original locations
- The expression of detail in the foundations, including form, shape, angle and height relative to grade
- Nearby piles of brick




Autorité de reconnaissance

Administrations locales (C.-B.)

Loi habilitante

Local Government Act, art.954

Type de reconnaissance

Répertoire du patrimoine communautaire

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Économies en développement
Communications et transport

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction



Transport ferroviaire
Gare ou autre installation ferroviaire

Architecte / Concepteur

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway



Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, Planning Department, Terrace

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




Inscriptions associées



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