Canadian American - Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec
Exterior photo (© (Photographie Christiane Lefebvre, 1996.))
Exterior photo
(© (Photographie Christiane Lefebvre, 1996.))
Address : Stearns Street, Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1996-06-05
  • 1926 to 1927 (Construction)
  • 1930 to 1930 (Significant)
  • 1950 to 1950 (Significant)

Research Report Number: RS-277

Description of Historic Place

The Gare du Canadian Pacific (Canadian American Railway) at Lac-Mégantic is a two-storey, brick railway station, built in 1926-27, with additions in 1930 and c1950. It is centrally located in the town of Lac-Mégantic, on the Rivière Chaudière. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Gare du Canadian Pacific (Canadian American Railway) at Lac-Mégantic represents a period of prosperity and expansion for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), when it controlled a large part of the railway traffic in eastern Canada. Spurred by competition from its rival, Canadian National Railways, the CPR built a new station at Lac-Mégantic to serve as a divisional point on its Short Line between Montréal and Saint John. The Lac-Mégantic station played an important role in the socio-economic history of the town, supporting its tourism and foresty industries.

The Lac-Mégantic station follows accepted architectural forms for CPR railway stations of the period erected in small communities. The station is comprised of a main section built in 1926-7, a retransmission building built in 1930, and a c1950 extension that joined the two buildings. The later additions are largely consistent with the Arts and Crafts design and materials of the earlier building. The station is extremely well-preserved.

The station serves as a visual and social landmark at the centre of the town. It retains its relationship to the town’s nearby main street, the park that extends between the two, and the curved line of rue de la Gare as it circles through the park, providing access to the station. The station is regarded as an important heritage feature of the town, by its citizens.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Gare du Canadian American Railway Company (naguère propriété du Canadien Pacifique), Ville de Lac-Mégantic, Québec, October 21, 1996; Christiane Lefebvre, Railway Station Report 277, Gare du Canadien Pacifique (vendue au Canadian American Railway Company en 1995), Ville de Lac-Mégantic, Québec.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Gare du Canadian Pacific (Canadian American Railway) at Lac-Mégantic include: its form and massing, consisting of: a one-storey, hip-roofed, rectangular block; with a slightly higher, hip-roofed section joined to its north end; and intersected by a two-storey, hip-roofed block that projects from both town and track sides; features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including: hip roofs; wide, overhanging eaves forming a platform canopy; large, wood brackets supporting the platform canopy; and a projecting operator’s bay, here incorporated into the two-storey block; wide, overhanging eaves of its ground floor block, which form a platform canopy on all sides of the building, with the exception of the projecting bays of the two-storey block; the 1950s extension between the original station and the retransmission building, executed in the same style and materials as the earlier buildings; segmentally arched, window openings, horizontally divided by wood mullions into transoms above and windows or doors below; and vertically divided into three possible configurations: three windows, two windows flanking a door, or one window and one door; multi-light transoms and window sashes indicating the 1926-7 station section; single-light transoms and window sashes indicating the retransmission building; a multi-panel garage door indicating the 1950s extension; the contrasting colour of the trim on openings; its high-quality, red brick cladding; its brickwork detailing, designed to contribute to its Arts and Crafts styling, including: the treatment of corners with projecting pilasters; recessed panels in the two-storey bays; and segmental arches over openings; its wood detailing, including: the large wood brackets supporting the platform canopy; small, paired, wood brackets supporting the eaves of the two-storey block; boarded soffits under the eaves; and exposed, shaped, rafter ends; its stone detailing, consisting of stone corbels holding the canopy brackets; its interior plan, comprised of a waiting room, subdivided into two parts by a ticket office and a station agent’s office; interior fixtures and finishes in varnished wood, including: the ticket office, benches, window frames and wall mouldings; the ticket office, consisting of: a small, rectangular, varnished-wood kiosk with glazed upper panels separated by wood pilasters; interior wall finishes, consisting of: a burlap dado; and a roughly plastered upper portion; surviving original ceiling light fixtures; the upper floor of the tower; the former exterior wall of the station, now forming part of the interior.