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Key Number: HS 30120
Site Name: Canadian National Railway Station
Other Names:
Site Type: 0803 - Transportation - Rail Facility: Station


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 14 4

Address: 4922- 52 Avenue
Number: 22
Street: 49
Avenue: 52
Town: Vegreville
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Rectangular Long Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 1 1/2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Nailed Frame
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Medium Hip
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: None
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 9 Bays or more
Number of Bays - Facade: Second Floor, 3 Bays
Wall Design and Detail: Half-Timbering
Roof Trim - Eaves: Projecting Eaves
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Fascia
Roof Trim Material - Eaves: Wood
Roof Trim - Verges: Projecting Verges
Roof Trim - Verges: Plain Fascia
Roof Trim Material - Verges: Wood
Towers, Steeples and Domes: None
Dormer Type: Gable, Projecting Eaves
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Left
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Offset Front
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: None
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Wood
Window - Sill Type: Plain Lug Sill
Window - Sill Material: Wood
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Number of Sashes: One
Window - Opening Mechanism: Fixed
Window - Special Types: None
Window - Pane Arrangements: Other
Main Entrance - Location: 2 or More (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Wood
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: None
Main Porch - Type: None
Exterior: Gabled extensions, gable dormers, half-timbering, curved brackets under eaves, hip dormers, bellcast roof, bay window.
Wide plinth, bay window to North, lugsill, dormers - gable with overhang and hip, eaves - cornice with fascia and brackets, plain boxed cornice, many paned windows, tudor styled beams.
Interior: N/A
Environment: Located beside railway tracks and at the end of main street (commercial core)
Condition: Structure - Good Repair - Good
Alterations: Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Unknown Site: Unknown


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Completed
Construction Started

Usage: Usage Date:
Railway Station
Railway Station
Seniour Citizens Sunshine Club
Owner: Owner Date:
Canadian National Railways
Architect: Canadian National Railways
Builder: Ferguson Construction Company
Craftsman: N/A
History: Station opened in 1931. It is considered to be unlike any other Western depot. Vegreville #1 - CNOR Third Class Plan 100-26 opened 1907. Vegreville #2 - CNR Special Station Plan 100-255. Built at a cost of $46,000.00. Facility is now jointed used by Canadian National and the local senior citizens club.


HISTORICAL CONTEXT: When the Canadian Northern Railway strung its line through east central Alberta, a number of sidings were erected, and, at a few locations, the CNor undertook to subdivide townsites. One of the townsites was near the tiny community of Vegreville, named after the Oblate priest. The name was probably suggested by Father Morin, who tried to establish a Francophone colony in the area. A few French settlers did come to the area, and, by the turn of the 20th century, and there were a few English settlers around as well. A number of Ukrainians were also beginning to arrive, some spilling over from Ukrainian settlements further to the east. With the coming of the railway, many more settlers arrived, many from the Ukraine, and, in time, Vegreville became known as, primarily, a Ukrainian district.

With the railway, the farmers from around Vegreville could at last ship their produce to markets in the East. The hinterland around the community was so large, that building boom occurred, and, in August 1906, the re-located community of Vegreville was incorporated, first as a village and then as a town, with over 400 people. The district experienced much prosperity during the World War I period, but, like the rest of rural Alberta, suffered from the reduced grain prices following the War. The Canadian Northern was also suffering, and, in 1919, it was taken over by the Dominion government and made part of the Canadian National system of railways.

The late 1920's was a period of higher prices and higher yields in Alberta, and the farming population around Vegreville increased accordingly. By this time, CN was well aware that the old train station, built in 1906, was hardly adequate for the needs of the district. It had been built to a third class 100-3 design, as had most stations between Lloydminster and Edmonton. According to Les Kozma, most of these stations were soon recognized to be inadequate. On 10 April 1929, the local Board of Trade wrote to CN Superintendent Devenish to complain that:

… the present CNR atation is an eyesore and a blemish on the fair face of the town, and the
facilities provided the travelling public at this station were ridiculously inadequate for the
size of the town the station intended to serve.

By this time, the CPR had begun building a branch line south from Willingdon, and, possibly in recognition of the coming competition, CN decided to build a new station. This was a two-story wood frame structure, measuring 107' x 37', with a stucco exterior. It was divided into four separate function areas on the ground floor (waiting room, ticket and express office, express room, and two washrooms). The second floor was made into living quarters for the station manager and his family. A storage room and a boiler room occupied the basement. The waiting room was subdivided into compartments, one serving as a ladies waiting room, and another as a smoking room. The Vegreville Observer was evidently satisfied, for it observed that:

… The CN, as our pioneer railway, has always been generous to Vegreville, not unduly so,
but sufficiently for our present needs.

The CN Station served the community until 1975, at which time the station was sold and converted into other uses, including a seniors drop-in center.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The historical significance of the CN Station in Vegreville lies in its service as a station for the entire Vegreville district from 1930 to 1975. As such, it was the nerve centre for the export of agricultural produce, and the import of finished products. It also provided a passenger service for people traveling east or west, and contained the district telegraph office.
Description of Historic Place
The Canadian National Railway (C.N.R.) Station is a two-storey wood frame building, with a stucco exterior, located on one lot in the downtown area of the Town of Vegreville. The station building features a hipped roof, gabled dormers, curved eavesbrackets and half-timbering.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Canadian National Railway (C.N.R.) Station building lies chiefly in its aesthetic and architectural significance as an example of standard plan railway station design, as well as for its symbolic significance in terms of the railway's association with the settlement and development of Alberta.

Completed in 1930 according to the C.N.R.'s plan 100-225, the C.N.R. Station replaced an older station, built in 190, and is the single remaining example of that station plan in Alberta. The new station included several features that the original station did not, such as an integral freight shed, porte cochere, as well as four (or five) separate areas on the ground floor: waiting room, ticket and express office, express room, and separate men's and ladies' washrooms. The waiting room was subdivided into compartments, one serving as a ladies waiting room, and another as a smoking room. This five part arrangement of the public space is a pragmatic use of the space at hand, and embodies advances in railroad station design typical of its period.

The C.N.R. Station building symbolically represents many issues important to the early development of the province, specifically settlement and early town life. The station's construction during the heyday of the age of the railroad is clear since this station was built in an effort to compete with the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.), which was building a branch line in the region at the same time. The C.N.R. Station building stands as a prominent landmark in the region as a testimony to these themes.

Source: Alberta Community Development, Heritage Resource Management Branch (File: Des. 953)

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Canadian National Railway (C.N.R.) Station building include such features as:
- size, form, design, and massing;
- hipped roof with gable dormers, gabled extensions, curved eaves and brackets, and half-timbering;
- floor plan layout according to C.N.R. Standard Plan 100-225;
- porte cochere;
- arrangement of window and door openings;
- original interior elements such as flooring, and woodwork.
- semaphore control levers.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
Record Information: Record Information Date:
WANG 1900/01/01


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-1050
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