Canadian National Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Jasper, Alberta
Corner view of Canadian National Railway Station, showing both the back and side façades, 1991. (© Great Plains Research Consultants, B. Potyondi, 1991.)
General view of the place
(© Great Plains Research Consultants, B. Potyondi, 1991.)
Address : 607 Connaught Dr., Jasper, Alberta

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-06-04
  • 1925 to 1925 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Jasper National Park  (Organization)
  • Canadian National Railways  (Organization)
  • CNR Architectural Division  (Architect)
Research Report Number: RS-125

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railway (CNR) station at Jasper was built in 1925. Its is an integrated asymmetrical 1½ storey massing under a complex distinctive irregular high pitched roof, located on Connaught Ave.

Heritage Value

The station at Jasper has been designated a heritage railway station because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.

The Canadian National Railway (CNR) station at Jasper was built in 1925 by the line's Western Division crews using a design prepared by the CNR Architectural Division in Winnipeg. It was one of the largest and finest stations to be built by the new Canadian National Railways immediately after its formation. Appropriately, the site of the new Jasper station encompassed the previous Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Canadian Northern Railway depot sites, companies which combined to form the CNR. Jasper station was built to an unusual design that adapted the Arts and Crafts style and the related national parks "style" to the specific functional requirements of a first class facility for rail travel. Its irregular massing, rustic materials and robust detailing relate to its wilderness park setting and at the same time support an unusually high level of passenger comfort and convenience. The station is an important local landmark and a focal point in the plan of the Jasper townsite.

The heritage character of Jasper station is defined by its exterior form, materials and detailing, by the quality of its original interior finishes, and by its setting.

· Heritage Character Statement, Jasper Canadian National Railways Station, March 1993. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-125, 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Jasper CNR Station include:
the station’s irregular rectangular footprint, and integrated asymmetrical 1½ storey massing under a complex roofline, the intricacy and prominence of its roof forms from all four facades of the station (central hipped portion with paired asymmetrical gabled dormers flanking central shed dormers, while the wings at each end have truncated hipped dormers), its Arts and Crafts motif as reflected in such details as large cobblestone chimneys, cobblestone wainscot, limestone drip course, exposed rafter ends, multi-paned wood windows, stuccoed brick walls, its use of materials with a natural and/or rustic finish, details and materials of a similar type on the interior of the building, particularly in the public spaces which have heavy beamed ceilings, exposed trusswork, rough plaster finishes, elegant light fixtures, and built-in furnishings, any and all original details and materials on the interior, continuing legibility of the longstanding spatial definition and functional use of particular areas of the station interior, the continuity of circulation patterns.