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Key Number: HS 6011
Site Name: C.P.R. Train Station - Old Strathcona
Other Names:
Site Type: 0803 - Transportation - Rail Facility: Station

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 24 4


Address: 8103 - 103 Street
Number: 3
Street: 103
Avenue: 81
Other:
Town: Edmonton
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape: Rectangular
Storeys: Storeys: 2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Stone
Superstructure: Stone
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
Wall Design and Detail: Quoins
Wall Design and Detail: String or Belt Course
Wall Design and Detail: Inscription or Date Stone
Wall Design and Detail: Balcony
Roof Trim - Eaves: Projecting Eaves
Roof Trim - Eaves: Rafters Exposed
Roof Trim Material - Eaves: Wood
Roof Trim - Verges: Not Applicable
Roof Trim Material - Verges: None
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Left
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Centre
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: Other
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Lintel
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Concrete
Window - Sill Type: Continuous Sill
Window - Sill Material: Stone
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Main Entrance - Location: 2 or More (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Lintel
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Concrete
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: None
Main Stairs - Direction: None
Main Porch - Type: None
Main Porch - Special Features: None
Main Porch - Material: None
Main Porch - Height: None
Exterior: Limestone Trim stone - 1907 Overhang Roof Hip roof with hip roof extensions; double turrets. Tyndall limestone trim, tower, wide overhang brackets, quoins, belt corse. Architecturally, the station is a substantial and well-executed example of turn-of-the-century principles in railway station design. It is notable for its broad hip roofs, deep bracketed eaves, strong chateauesque silhouette, and high quality stone, brick and timber detailing. Much of its original character has been maintained despite ongoing refurbishment and modification. The main floor is essentially rectangular, with projecting bays on the east and west facades. The second floor is a smaller off-centre rectangle. The east bay projects upward to form the large hexagonal tower. These simple volumes large hip roofs, with the tower roof and lower hip roof flared at the eaves to provide a graceful sweeping contour. The primary wall surfaces are of decorative red brick with contrasting Tyndall stone used for the foundations, quoins, bracket corbels, and tower finial. The interplay of stone and brick proveds both texture and detail, particularly in the projecting bays and the tower. The windows were originally designed with large lower panes and contrasting small-paned transons. They were arranged in multiple units which emphasized the horizontal character of the facades. The pattern of openings survives relatively intact, and is an important feature of the facade. The roof is marked by deep bracketed eaves, with the heavy timber brackets resting on decorative stone corbels. The roof suface was originally specified to be wood shingle, and this roofing material survives to this day.
Interior: High baseboards and other wood moldings.
Environment: Neighbourhood: CPR West Property Features: None Adjacent to Railway track. Old Strathcona preservation area. Railway tracks are to the east of the building. In terms of its broader urban context, the station is recognized by the CPR as a key ingredient of its image within the local community. It is in the heart of Edmonton's most significant heritage district, Old Strathcona, surrounded by buildings of similar scale and vintage. The station's scale and context make it a local landmark, a status recognized by the community through municipal designation and by the CPR in its recent refurbishment of the station as part of the centennial celebrations in Old Strathcona. Vestiges of the original station garden survive to the north of this station. Such gardens have considerable historical significance.
Condition:
Alterations: Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Roof Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Chimney Site: Original Replacement window sash.

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started
Construction Ended
1907/01/01
1908/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Transportation - Rail Facility: Station
Transportation - Rail Facility: Station
1907/01/01
1971/07/09
Owner: Owner Date:
C.P.R.

Architect: C.P.R.
Builder: McDermott
Craftsman: N/A
History: Built at a cost of $24,382 it served as a terminus for CPR Northern line until the construction of the high level bridge. Opened in 1908 to replace wooden structure built in 1891 Built from CPR plan X-19
* * *
June 28, 1932 - Name changed from Strathcona Station to South Edmonton Station. Commencement of Construction - June 4, 1907. Opening date - January 21, 1908. Construction cost - $24,382.
****
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station at Strathcona, in South Edmonton, was erected in 1907 as the northern terminus of the CPR line from Calgary, following the designs of the CPR Engineering Department in Winnipeg. The station continues to serve both passenger and freight traffic. It is CPR's Customer Service Centre, its headquarters for the Edmonton area, and the chief divisional point for the railway in northern Alberta. Refer to Railway Station Report 63. The station reflects the importance of the railway to the basic patterns of rural and urban settlement in Alberta. It serviced both passenger and freight traffic at a time of significant economic expansion in western Canada. The original Calgary and Edmonton Railway (C ER), dating from 1890-91, became the spine of central Alberta's agricultural development, integrating local farmers into the wheat economy of the Canadian West. The 1907 station in Strathcona replaced the original depot at the northern terminus of the (C ER) line, and reflected the CPR's ongoing commitment to developing Strathcona as the dominant terminal point in northern Alberta. The station was built at a time of substantial local growth and optimism. Subsequent commitments by the Canadian Northern Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to build terminal facilities in Edmonton, across the river, led to eventual amalgamation of Strathcona with its larger rival, but the Strathcona station serves as a visible reminder of the patterns of local development.
***
In January 1908, soon after Strathcona was granted city status, the Canadian Pacific Railway opened this picturesque new station. It was built at a cost of $24,000, and replaced a modest wood frame station erected by the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1891. The station was much grander than the original and contained amenities not seen before by Srathcona's traveling public, including separate waiting rooms for men and women and a smoking lounge.

Architecturally, the Strathcona CPR station is one of very few urban stations of its kind left in Alberta, and is a good example of a standard CPR station design. Built in the Queen Anne style, the station nevertheless incorporates elements from French and Scottish architectural sources. The large two-tiered hipped roof with wide bellcast eaves has its origins in French architecture, while the octagonal tower on the building's east side was derived from Scottish sources -- perhaps in recognition of the Scottish ancestry of high ranking CPR officers. When combined, these diverse elements created a rather romantic, distinctive image which is today very evocative of Canada's early railway days.
***
Federal Designation.
* * *
Strathcona owed its rapid growth to the railroad, of which the present station, built after the town became a CPR Divisional Point, was the northern terminus. The station is representative of the importance of the railroad to the town's development and the development of Northern Alberta. This station was based on a plan developed by the CPR to meet the needs of Strathcona exclusively, although variations of this plan were used in three other stations in Alberta (Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer). The station is built of brick and has Tyndall sandstone [should be limestone?] quoins and sills. Other features include a bellcast hip roof, irregular roof lines, stone roof brackets, and a two-storey extended octagonal tower which has a pyramidal roof, pilasters and decorative stonework trim. The station was opened in 1908, replacing a wooden structure built in 1891. It has functioned as a railway station since then, and also houses the CPR regional offices and the CPR police. The Strathcona CPR station is representative of the vital role of the railway in the development of Northern Alberta. It also attests to Strathcona's importance as the northern terminus and later (1906) Divisional Point of the CPR's Calgary-Edmonton line. The station is architecturally unique, and is one of four remaining major urban stations in Alberta, the others being Lethbridge, Red Deer and Medicine Hat.
* * *
CP RAIL STATION (1907)
Reminder of Glory days in Rail Travel The CP Rail Strathcona Station was not much more than a shell of its former self by the 1980s. But the station, just south of the site of the original - albeit more humble - station, stands as a reminder of the historic importance of the railway to the south side. The station also serves as a tombstone marking the demise of rail passenger service between here and Calgary. The last VIA Rail Dayliner made its run in the fall of 1985. Built in 1907 at a cost of $30,000, the two-storey station sports a traditional brick and Tyndall stone facade, including Tyndall stone quoins and sills. It has a bellcast hip roof, pilasters and decorative stone trim. Inside, the station was remodeled and by 1986 served as CP Rail's city freight centre, with administration and yard offices occupying the once classic interior. Employees now work in renovated offices on two floors. A former freight room at the south end of the station was transformed into a modern lunch room and locker room for yard crews. The waiting room was converted into a storage area. New wood paneling, drywalling, linoleum flooring and carpeting are everywhere saved for the basement. From the inside, only transoms over outside doors remind one that this is not a modern building. While no one knows for certain, it is likely that hardwood flooring once graced the original waiting room, station agent's office, and living quarters. The second floor offices were built in the 1950s, usurping space that formerly served as a dance hall and bunkhouse. CP Rail's investigation department, yard-master's offices and a board room were located here by 1986. Once again the station is as busy as a beehive, but its incoming traffic is often manufactured parts and machinery, and the outgoing traffic is largely comprised of petrochemicals. In 1985, CP Rail shipped 18,000 carloads from the station, while 5,000 carloads came in. The station measures 134 by 38 feet and was originally steam heated. The heating system was upgraded in 1984. The main floor originally contained an express office, women's waiting room, general waiting room, agent's office with wickets, and ticket and telegraph offices opening to the east side platform. Other facilities included a conductor's room, gentlemen's smoking room and lavatories on the main floor. Alberta Culture described it as representative of the vital role of the railway in the development of northern Alberta. It is architecturally unique and one of four later remaining urban stations in the province - the others being in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The Canadian Pacific Railway station at Strathcona reflects the importance of the railway to the basic patterns of rural and urban settlement in Alberta. It serviced both passenger and freight traffic at a time of significant economic expansion in western Canada. The original Calgary and Edmonton Railway (C ER), dating from 1890-91, became the spine of central Alberta’s agricultural development, integrating local farmers into the wheat economy of the Canadian West.

The 1907 station in Strathcona replaced the original depot at the northern terminus of the C ER line, and reflected the C. P. R. ’s ongoing commitment to developing Strathcona as the dominant terminal point in northern Alberta. The station was built at a time of substantial local growth and optimism. Subsequent commitments by the Canadian Northern Railway and Grand Trunk Pacific Railway to build terminal facilities in Edmonton, across the river, led to the eventual amalgamation of Strathcona with its larger rival, but the Strathcona station still serves as a visible reminder of the patterns of local development.

Architecturally, the station is a substantial and well-executed example of turn-of-the century principles in railway station design. It is notable for its broad hip roofs, deep bracketed eaves, strong chateauesque silhouette, and high quality stone, brick and timber detailing. Much of its original character has been maintained despite ongoing refurbishment and modification.

In terms of its broader urban context, the station is recognized by the C. P. R. as a key ingredient of its image within the local community. It is in the heart of Edmonton’s most significant heritage district, Old Strathcona, surrounded by buildings of similar scale and vintage. The station’s scale and context make it a local landmark, a status recognized by the community through municipal designation.

CHARACTER DEFINING FEATURES

The heritage character of the Strathcona station is defined by its exterior elevations, by certain interior features, and by aspects of its setting.

The massing of the building has survived virtually intact. The main floor plan is essentially rectangular, with projecting bays on the east and west facades. The second floor is a smaller off-centre rectangle. The east bay projects upward to form the large hexagonal tower. These simple volumes support large hip roofs, with the tower roof and the lower hip roof flared at the eaves to provide a graceful sweeping contour. It is important that this massing, typical of the period and carefully conceived to give the building its chateauesque character, be maintained.

The primary wall surfaces are of decorative red brick with contrasting Tyndall stone used for the foundations, quoins, bracket corbels, and tower finial. The interplay of stone and brick provides both texture and detail, particularly in the projecting bays and the tower. The masonry would best be conserved through a regular program of cleaning, repair and repointing, with the use of techniques appropriate to historic masonry materials.

The windows were originally designed with large lower panes and contrasting small-paned transoms. They were arranged in multiple units which emphasized the horizontal character of the facades. The pattern of openings survives relatively intact, and is an important feature of the façade. The sash have been modified, partially on the ground floor and more extensively on the upper floor. Surviving features of the original sash design should be maintained, and if further replacement is required, first consideration should be given to restoring the original sash and transom profiles.

The roof is marked by deep bracketed eaves, with the heavy timber brackets resting on decorative stone corbels. The heritage character of the station would be enhanced if these wood elements were maintained and any necessary repairs carried out in kind. The roof surface was originally specified to be wood shingle, and this roofing material survives to this day. It is an important feature of the exterior.

Early finishes such as the high baseboards and other wood moldings still exist on the interior, although there have been a number of refurbishments and changes in layout in response to changing demands and patterns of use. It is important for the heritage character of the station that such early finishes be retained and integrated into contemporary interior layouts.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Active
Active
1908/01/01
1992/09/09
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal A List
Federally Designated
Provincial Historic Resource


2003/12/09
Register: A19
Record Information: Record Information Date:
S. Khanna 1992/12/07

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0844
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