Former Canadian Pacific Railway (VIA Rail) Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Exterior photograph (© CP Corporate Archives, Montreal, photograph 807.)
Exterior photograph
(© CP Corporate Archives, Montreal, photograph 807.)
Address : 174 North Railway Street, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1994-01-07
  • 1914 to 1914 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-151

Description of Historic Place

Former Canadian Pacific Railway (VIA Rail) Station at Qualicum Beach is a picturesque, one-and-a-half-storey, wood-frame railway station with station agent’s quarters above, built in 1914. It is located in a grove of fir trees at a distance from the centre of Qualicum Beach. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

Former Canadian Pacific Railway (VIA Rail) Station at Qualicum Beach reflects the Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CPR) commitment to sustaining the substantial role of its subsidiary, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway (E&N) in the settlement and development of Vancouver Island. The construction of the station and arrival of the railway in 1914 created the town of Qualicum Beach and enabled it to function as a service and distribution centre for the logging industry, and as a tourist destination.

The Qualicum Beach station is a simple, picturesque structure which resembles contemporary standard CPR plans. The rustic-vernacular aesthetic of the building is appropriate to its role as a tourist facility.

The Qualicum Beach station retains its original, rural setting in a wooded area at some distance from the town. The station also retains its relationship with the tracks and railway. The station has been municipally designated and the area around the station and along the rails has been landscaped and designated as a Heritage Core Park

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, VIA Rail Station, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, September 1993; and Analytica Associates, Railway Station Report 151, VIA Rail (former Canadian Pacific Railway) Station, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Former Canadian Pacific Railway (VIA Rail) Station at Qualicum Beach include: its rustic-vernacular character and picturesque quality, evident in its roofline, exterior materials, and placement of windows, doors and chimneys its informal one-and-a-half storey form, with the second storey located at the west end of the structure, rather than in the middle, and a one-storey freight section extending at the east end features which unify the two sections and contribute to its picturesque character and domestic scale, including: the use of cedar shingle roofing throughout; the slender, regularly placed, wood, canopy brackets; and the horizontal board at the base of the walls its picturesque roofline, consisting of a bellcast, hipped roof with overhanging eaves on the one-and-a-half-storey section, twin dormers on the rear elevation, and a larger single dormer on the track side; and a lower hipped roof on the one-storey, freight section the pronounced variation in pitch and profile between the second-storey and freight-shed roofs twin brick chimneys symmetrically placed at either end of the second storey roof, which enhance its rustic-vernacular character its distinctive exterior finishes, which define the public, private and freight functions of the building and contribute to its rustic-vernacular character, including: clapboard siding, cedar roof shingles; and wide, corner-boards the balanced placement and configuration of windows and doors on all elevations, which reflect the internal functions of the station and promote its domestic appearance surviving original window and door units, including: wood-panel doors with multi-pane transom above; double-hung windows (nine-over-six and six-over-one); and wood-panel baggage doors the relatively low ceiling height of its interior rooms, which contributes to the domestic atmosphere its wood-frame construction surviving original interior materials, including: panel doors; mouldings and baseboards; wood floors; tongue-and-groove wainscoting with horizontal boards above; lath-and-plaster walls; and wood staircase surviving original interior materials and fixtures in the freight shed, including: wood floors; wall planking; and period light fixtures