Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Banff, Alberta
Exterior photo (© B. Potyondi, Great Plains Research Consultants, 1991.)
Exterior photo
(© B. Potyondi, Great Plains Research Consultants, 1991.)
Address : Lynx Street, Banff, Alberta

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1991-11-22
  • 1910 to 1910 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-064

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Banff is a two-storey, Arts-and-Crafts style railway station, built in 1910. It is prominently located at the foot of Lynx Street, facing the commercial centre of the town of Banff. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Banff is directly linked to the development of Canada’s national park system and the evolution of Canada’s tourist industry. The current Banff station reflects the dramatic increase in visitors to Banff National Park during the first decade of the 20th century, and the CPR’s continuing commitment to improving visitor facilities within the park.

The Banff station was designed in the Arts-and-Crafts style popular in mainstream architecture at the time of its construction. In its materials and treatment it loosely follows the rustic aesthetic adopted as the prevailing architectural theme for Canada’s national parks.

The station retains its dramatic mountain setting and its prominent location within the Banff townsite.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Banff, Alberta, January 1992; Heritage Research Associates and Great Plains Research Consultants, Railway Station Report 064, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Banff, Alberta.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Banff include: its form and massing, consisting of a central one-and-a-half-storey portion with two projecting, one-storey wings its roof line, comprised of hip roofs with wide, overhanging eaves over the two one-storey wings, a platform canopy at the first-storey level of the centre block, and a gable-roofed upper level with three symmetrically placed transverse ridges its plan, consisting of a long, rectangular shape, irregularly staggered to complement its rough-surfaced materials the gable-roofed entrance portico on the south side its horizontal character at both levels, reinforced by the low-sloping roofs and the deep, bracketed eaves features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including a broad, hip roof, wide, overhanging eaves, and large wood brackets its use of rough-surfaced, natural building materials, in keeping with the rustic aesthetic used for national park buildings, including half-timbering, rough log fieldstone, stucco and wood shingling its wall treatment, comprised of a rough fieldstone wainscot to sill height, a continuous, cut-stone sill course, rough-surfaced, stucco upper walls, stucco on the second storey and half-timbering at the original entrance portico the use of wood shingle as a roofing material its heavy timber brackets, custom designed for this station, supporting broad, wood-lined eaves at both the upper and lower levels the grouping of windows to reflect interior functions and emphasize the horizontal character of the facades surviving original glazing patterns, consisting of lower windows with simple one-over-one sash and upper windows with decorative, small-paned, upper sash surviving original interior finishes, including plaster finishes and brick fireplace