Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Corner view of Canadian Pacific Railway Station, showing both the front and side façade, 1991. (© B. Potyondi, 1991.)
General view of the place
(© B. Potyondi, 1991.)
Address : 3 Manitoba Street West, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1991-06-10
  • 1920 to 1922 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Canadian Pacific Railway  (Organization)
  • Hugh G. Jones  (Architect)
Research Report Number: RS-039

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station on Manitoba St. in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was built in 1920-22. It is a monumental Beaux-Arts complex made up of three adjoined structures with varying levels, heights and rooflines. Its distinctive 7-storey central tower overlooks the head of Moose Jaw’s main street.

Heritage Value

The Moose Jaw CPR station was designated a heritage railway station because of its considerable historical significance and architectural merit, as well as its prominence within the community.

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was designed by Montreal architect Hugh G. Jones and built in 1920-22. It was the first major post-war example of monumental CPR architecture on the prairies, reflecting the more austere architectural traditions of that region and period. It is classical in inspiration, reflecting elements of the Beaux-Arts style frequently used in major CPR stations. At the time it was built, Moose Jaw was the leading centre of provincial transportation and distribution, sustaining a vast prairie hinterland. The CPR was one of the city’s key industries and major employers, and the access the railway provided to extensive freight-handling facilities was important in encouraging the growth of local industries. Moose Jaw was initially founded by the CPR, and its main commercial street extends axially from the station site.

The heritage value of Moose Jaw CPR station resides in its massing and proportions, its simply decorated late Beaux-Arts design, the elegance and spaciousness of its principal spaces, the rich colours and textures of its building materials, and the location of its site, and the existing contextual relationship between the station and its neighbouring commercial streetscape. The four storey office block to the west of the station is an integral part of its overall design and composition.

· Heritage Character Statement, Moose Jaw Canadian Pacific Railway Station, 16 September 1991. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-39, 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Moose Jaw CPR Station include: the complex, many layered profile of the station with its distinctive tower containing the town clock overlooking the town’s main street, the station’s footprint defined as a square main station, a rectangular office building set at right angles to one end of the main station, and a rectangular freight station which runs parallel to the main building opposite the office, its block-like composite massing: a rectangular 2-storey main station with a recessed hipped roof standing between flanking 1-storey flat roofed wings with a 7-storey tower set into the north wing adjacent to the office building; a 4-storey rectangular office building with a recessed hipped roof, and a 1-storey flat roofed freight building, the clarity and balance of its individual forms, based on the model of an Italian Renaissance palazzo, with a heavy, one storey, rusticated ashlar base, a "campanile" clock tower, and an arcaded, interior "courtyard" , the tripartite composition of individual elevations, particularly as reinforced by rusticated ground floor levels, austere and regular apertures as windows and arches, its Beaux-Arts elements: blind window openings with exaggerated sills and brackets, and medallions of stone and terra cotta which provide relief to the smooth wall surfaces, smooth integration of its railway elements into the overall design: steel canopy with decorative columns at the main entrance, underground concourse and paired, enclosed stairwells linking the concourse to the platforms, the integrity, contrast and texture of original exterior materials and finishes; mottled white Tyndall stone for the rusticated base and dressings, red brick for the upper walls, cuprous green for the batten copper roof, the integrity of original interior materials and finishes, particularly those with a rich texture in public areas: arcaded golden-brown brick walls, a cream-coloured ceramic tile dado, terra cotta floor tiles, decorative cast iron door surrounds, glazed polychrome terra cotta tiles as wall medallions, stringcourses, door surrounds, and trim, dark walnut brown wood for wood benches and panelled office partitions, frosted pebbled glass lights on the upper half of the partition bays, the legibility and integrity of original interior station spaces and functions, continuity of established patterns of circulation.