Canadian National Railways Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Sainte-Hyacinthe, Quebec
Exterior photo (© (Photographie Jacqueline Hallé, 1991.))
Exterior photo
(© (Photographie Jacqueline Hallé, 1991.))
Address : 1450 Sicotte Street, Sainte-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1991-11-22
  • 1899 to 1899 (Construction)
  • 1925 to 1925 (Significant)

Research Report Number: RS-071

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railways Station (CNR) at Saint-Hyacinthe is a one-and-a-half-storey, brick and stone railway station, built in 1899. It is located in the city of Saint-Hyacinthe, southeast of Montreal. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian National Railways Station (CNR) at Saint-Hyacinthe was built by the Grand Trunk Railway to replace an earlier station and meet the town’s demands for a modern station. Saint-Hyacinthe served as a major depot on the rail line between Montreal and Portland. The railway was vital to the growth of the local manufacturing industry and the town’s role as a regional centre.

The St. Hyacinthe station exhibits the influence of the Romanesque Revival style, and features a uniquely shaped transverse gable. A 1925 extension was executed using a sympathetic design and materials.

The station continues to serve as a focal point of the town, with the downtown, business, industrial, and residential sectors of the town arranged around it. The station retains its relationship to the tracks and to stone curbs marking the dimensions of the original platform and the former station garden.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, La gare du Canadien National, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, February, 1993; Jacqueline Hallé, historienne de l’architecture, Railway Station Report 071, Gare du Canadien National, rue Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of The Canadian National Railways Station at Saint-Hyacinthe include: its form and massing, consisting of a rectangular main block, characterized by successive stepping along the street and track sides and culminating in a projecting portico on the street side and a projecting operator’s bay on the track side; and a rectangular extension added to one end in 1925 its elaborate roof line, consisting of a medium-pitch gable roof with wide overhanging eaves over the main block of the station; interrupted by a steeply pitched, mansard-roofed transverse gable with a bell-cast upper slope and a round-arched lower slope; hipped gable dormers punctuating the main gable roof on either side of the mansarded gable; and a hipped roof with wide, overhanging eaves extending from either end of the main gable and covering the elongated 1925 extension its Richardsonian Romanesque style, evident in: the solidly built portico with its large, rounded arches; the rounded gable ends of the transverse gable; the arched window in the second floor of the projecting bay on the track side; and the battered stone foundation rising to window sill level features typical of late-19th-century railway stations, including: its hipped roofs; wide, overhanging eaves; wood brackets supporting the eaves; and a two-storey, projecting operator’s bay its high-quality materials, consisting of: foundations faced in battered stone; brick walls; and wood brackets at regular intervals supporting the overhanging eaves the regular arrangement of window and door openings surviving original interior finishes, including: a coved ceiling with decorated cornice; and a brick, double hearth.