Former Calgary and Edmonton Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Red Deer, Alberta
View of the front (southeast) elevation of the railway station. (© Parks Canada Agency/Agence de Parcs Canada, Marilyn E. Armstrong-Reynolds, 1989.)
Calgary and Edmonton Railway Station - Red Deer
(© Parks Canada Agency/Agence de Parcs Canada, Marilyn E. Armstrong-Reynolds, 1989.)
Address : 5102 Ross St. (or 50th St.) CPR Right of Way, Red Deer, Alberta

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1990-06-21
  • 1910 to 1910 (Construction)
  • 1910 to 1991 (Significant)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Canadian Pacific Railway  (Organization)
  • Calgary and Edmonton Railway  (Organization)
  • Frederick Crossley  (Architect)
Research Report Number: RS-010

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station in Red Deer Alberta was built in 1910 immediately west of the community’s downtown core. It is a two and a half storey building with restrained Picturesque features that can be readily identified by its distinctive central tower and bellcast hipped roof.

Heritage Value

The Red Deer Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station was designated a Heritage Railway Station because it reflects Red Deer's former status as a major rail shipping centre. As a divisional point, the station has played a significant historical role in nurturing the economic growth and the physical development of the community. The building’s architectural form speaks distinctly of its function as a railway station. The station has also maintained its traditional relationship with the city's urban core and still serves as the focal point of Red Deer's main street.

The Red Deer station was built in 1910 to plans prepared by CPR staff architect Frederick Crossley of Winnipeg. Its construction celebrated Red Deer’s new (1907) role as a CPR divisional point. This occurred when the CPR reorganized to strengthen its freight traffic operations along the Alberta north-south corridor after purchasing the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1903.

The heritage value of the Red Deer station is defined on the exterior by the form of the building envelope as well as the extant historic fabric and detailing; on the interior, by those elements which recall the original functional layout; and by the existing contextual relationship with the neighbouring commercial streetscape.

Source: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Red Deer, 5 December 1989. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-010, 1989.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Red Deer Canadian Pacific Railway Station include: its irregular rectangular footprint, two and a half storey massing, and low-pitched, hipped bell-cast roof with a projecting gable and central tower on the track facade, its substantial scale, its axial symmetry, the balanced proportions of its vertical definition reinforced by the use of contrasting colours, materials and forms, the distinctive silhouette generated by its prominent roof definition from all four perspectives, the smooth aesthetic integration of special railway features such as a projecting telegrapher’s bay, overhanging eaves to form a platform canopy, and distinctive brackets, the austere but picturesque inspiration of its details: its gable and central tower, its bellcast eaves, its brackets, the varying colours and textures of its original materials: local salmon pink brick (now painted) with sandstone trim, wood siding, roof shingles, wooden doors and trim, the station’s platform frame construction, any original fabric surviving inside the station, legibility of any remaining elements of the station’s original interior layout, continued legibility of its longstanding interior functional and spatial configuration (i.e. subdivision into express room, baggage area, waiting room and upper level office/ dormitory accommodation), continued legibility of any of its distinguishing original volumes and features (such as the height and window placement in the waiting room), the continuity of longstanding circulation patterns.