VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Cranberry Portage, Manitoba
General view of the VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station, showing a façade, 1991. (© Murray Peterson, 1991.)
General view
(© Murray Peterson, 1991.)
Address : Railway Avenue, Cranberry Portage, Manitoba

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-06-04
  • 1929 to 1929 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Canadian National Railways  (Organization)
  • Canadian National Railways Architectural Division in Winnipeg  (Architect)
Other Name(s):
  • Cranberry Portage Railway Station  (Other Name)
  • Canadian National Railways Station  (Other Name)
  • Hudson Bay Railway Station  (Other Name)
Research Report Number: RS-084

Description of Historic Place

The VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station at Cranberry Portage is a two-storey, stucco-clad, wood-frame railway station, built in 1929. It is located in the small rural community of Cranberry Portage. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building.

Heritage Value

The VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station at Cranberry Portage illustrates the importance of the section of Canadian National Railways (CNR) track known as the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR) to the development of northern Manitoba. While modest in design, the railway station represented the height of Cranberry Portage’s initial phase of growth, and it served as the most important social and economic structure in the community.

The Cranberry Portage railway station is based on designs for Third Class by Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) and further modified by the CNR in the 1920s. Its exterior form, consisting of a two-storey main section with two one-storey wings, is a rare surviving example of this station type in Manitoba. The building’s interior retains a high degree of integrity.

The station retains its physical relationship to the tracks and its visual relationship to related commercial buildings of the same period located on Railway Avenue.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station, Cranberry Portage, Manitoba, October 1992; and Murray Peterson, Railway Station Report 084, VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station, Cranberry Portage, Manitoba.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the VIA Rail/Canadian National Railways Station at Cranberry Portage include: its simple exterior form, consisting of: a main two-storey, hipped-roof section; a long, one-storey hipped-roof wing extending west (parallel to the tracks); and a smaller one-storey, gable-roofed wing with porch, extending north; its broad, bracketed platform canopy, which extends the full length of the platform side of the building, visually uniting the main section and the western wing; its exterior materials and detailing, including a concrete foundation wall extending to the lower window sill level; an upper wall covering of stucco on metal lath; heavy wood brackets supporting the platform canopy; wood soffits and trim; and multi-light sash window units (with some single-lights in the lower sash of larger windows); the surviving original interior materials and detailing in the residential, office and waiting areas, including wooden benches and counters with ornamental metal grating in the waiting room; wood trim; and original floor and wall finishes.