Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Nelson, British Columbia
Exterior photo (© Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives 17614.)
Exterior photo
(© Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives 17614.)
Address : 90 Baker Street, Nelson, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-06-04
  • 1900 to 1900 (Construction)
  • 1910 to 1910 (Addition)

Research Report Number: RS-126

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Nelson is a two-storey, wood-frame, railway station, built in 1900. It is located near the lakefront, at the foot of the main thoroughfare, on the edge of the city of Nelson. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station (CPR) at Nelson reflects the city’s role at the end of the 19th century as a major transportation centre for the mining industry in British Columbia’s southern interior. The station served as a crucial meeting point between rail and steamboat transportation. The station also represents the CPR’s commitment to compete with American railway interests in the southern interior.

The Nelson station is a good example of the picturesque aesthetic applied to a railway station. It is a substantial structure with complex massing and rich detailing. The station’s wood construction reflects the local abundance of that material, and perhaps, the CPR’s doubts as to the permanence of the mining community. The subsequent additions have not diminished the legibility of the original station.

The station maintains a high profile in the community and is considered an important historical resource.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Nelson, British Columbia, May 1993; and Leslie Kozma, Railway Station Report 126, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Nelson, British Columbia.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Nelson include: its picturesque aesthetic, as expressed in its prominent hipped roof, projecting bays, bracketed canopy, profusion of dormers and variety of finishes its horizontal massing, broken by large, projecting bays ending in hipped and gabled dormers on both street and track sides its large size its roofline, consisting of a prominent hip roof enlivened with a profusion of gabled, hipped and shed-roofed dormers on all four sides the wide-eaved platform canopy, supported on slender brackets, which surrounds the building on three sides and reinforces its horizontal form the 1910 addition to the west, which continues the hip-roofed form and shed dormers and is harmonious in style and materials its Shingle-style detailing, including: clapboard sheathing; and half-timbering and stucco accents in the gable dormers its abundant fenestration, consisting of: single, paired and tripled sash windows in a variety of arrangements, including bay windows on one of the projecting bays. surviving original wood windows, with multi-paned upper sash its wood construction.