Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Lachute, Quebec
Corner view of Canadian Pacific Railway Station, showing both the back and side façades. (© Cliché Ethnotech inc, 1991.)
General view of the place
(© Cliché Ethnotech inc, 1991.)
Address : 540 Berry Street, Lachute, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-06-04
  • 1929 to 1929 (Construction)
  • 1940 to 1940 (Addition)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Canadian Pacific Railway  (Organization)
Research Report Number: RS-079

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station at Lachute is located on Rue Berry which runs parallel to Rue Principale in the centre of the city. It is a picturesque one storey building with a high semi-circular roof on one end and a prominent decorated bay dormer. It was built in 1929 and enlarged in 1940.

Heritage Value

Lachute’s CPR station was designated a heritage railway station for its historical, architectural and environmental importance.

Lachute has been a railway centre since 1876 when the Québec, Montréal, Ottawa and Occidental Railroad (QMO&O) was constructed by two local manufacturers, Ayers & Hamelin and J.C. Wilson. The town prospered, and eventually the QMO&O was absorbed into the CPR, and the present station was built in 1929.

Lachute’s CPR station was constructed according to plans developed by the office of the CPR’s Chief Engineer in Montreal for a 1927 station in Shawinigan. Distinguished by the quality of its stone and brickwork, the design was dominated by enormous bay dormers on the sides and a circular waiting room. Its compact scale and the quality of its details are outstanding. These were not disturbed when the building was expanded by addition of a less prominent west wing using the same materials in 1940.

Heritage value of the Lachute CPR station resides in its harmonious architectural composition and in its high quality materials and workmanship. It also lies in the high degree of integrity with which it reflects its original form and finishes, both interior and exterior, and in the station’s consistent and longstanding contribution to its environment.

· Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Lachute, Quebec, February 1993. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-079, 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Lachute Canadian Pacific Railway Station include:
the station’s rectangular footprint with an off-centre projection at the bay and a semi-circular end, its massing as two distinct volumes: a low single storey west half under a recessed hipped roof, and a higher and more prominent half with a distinctive full-body cross-gable and a semi-circular end under a sweeping half-conical roof with bellcast edges terminating in at a high roof ridge, the volumetric balance evident between the dominant components of the passenger end of the station, and also between the two halves of the station proper, the generous scale of the station, its dominant bay dormer with its decorative head the rhythmic placement of its apertures, the prominence and balanced nature of its roof definition, the modern inspiration of its picturesque details: irregular roof forms, dominant bay with its decorative head, use of colour and texture contrast as body feature, presence of the same high quality exterior construction materials and techniques on the original building and its addition, the varying textures of exterior materials: rough stone lower walls and brick upper walls separated by a cut stone band, cut stone surrounds and details, wood windows and doors, all original fabric, furnishings and finishes inside the station with particular attention to their varying quality as it reflects the functional hierarchy of spaces in the building, continued legibility of the station’s original functional and spatial configuration, continued use of its long term access and circulation routes, the overall integrity of the building’s form, plan, material, and detail.