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Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Didsbury

Other Names:
C. P. R. Railway Station
C. P. R. Station
C.P.R. Station
CPR Station
Didsbury C. P. R. Station
Didsbury C.P.R. Station
Didsbury Canadian Pacific Railway Station
Didsbury CPR Station
Didsbury Railway Station

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Pacific Railway Station is an early twentieth century building situated on two blocks of land in the centre of Didsbury. It is comprised of a one and one-half storey wood frame building featuring a mansard roof and shed dormers attached to a long, hipped roof freight shed. During the station's restoration in 1991, it was re-oriented. The side currently facing the street was historically the loading platform.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.) Station lies in its unique architectural style and its association with early railroad development in Alberta.

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Didsbury is architecturally distinct as the sole remaining provincial example of a particular small-scale style railway station and the only extant railway station in Alberta with a mansard roof. The Didsbury station was constructed in 1902 in accordance with CPR Plan X-6 and is sometimes referred to as a "Type Eight" depot. Similar stations with small variations were also built in the province, but the Didsbury depot remains the only station still in existence in Alberta that was erected in accordance to this plan. This form of depot is distinguished by its mansard roof featuring shed dormers, bell-cast eaves, and support brackets.

The completion of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway line in 1891 was vital in opening the central part of the province to settlement and agricultural development. Several depots were created along the new line, including Didsbury. Initially formed as a Mennonite settlement, Didsbury grew and diversified its population over the succeeding decade as more settlers arrived in the area. The Canadian Pacific Railway Station was built to house passengers and the telegraphic equipment required for the smooth operation of the trains. Its construction testifies to the slow but steady growth of the fledgling community.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 836)


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- mansard roof featuring bell cast eaves, shed dormers, support brackets, and brick chimney;
- clapboard siding;
- fenestration and door patterns and trim;
- hipped roof freight shed;
- cedar shingle roof with "DIDSBURY" painted sign;
- floor plan of main and second floor areas;
- wood floors, wainscoting, and mouldings;
- semaphore.


Location



Street Address: Railway Street
Community: Didsbury
Boundaries: Block A, Plan 1427H and Lot 5, Block A, Plan 0414596
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5
1
31
18
11 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
9112601
1427 H
0414596

A
A
4
N/A
5




Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.658511 -114.137268 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1978/10/18

Historical Information

Built: 1902 to 1902
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Transport - Rail : Station or Other Rail Facility
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

Built in 1902, this building provided the basic services of a small town railway station - shelter for travelers and telegraph facilities for the operation of trains. A freight shed was added to the rear of the building. One of the oldest stations on the historic Calgary-Edmonton railway line, the Didsbury Railway Station is the only example of a station with a particular small-scale mansard roof. This station was proposed for designation for its role in depicting early railway history in Alberta.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0247
Designation File: DES 0836
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 14308
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 836)
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