Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Glacier, British Columbia
Exterior photo (© John L. Nicholls, Analytica Associates, 1992.)
Exterior photo
(© John L. Nicholls, Analytica Associates, 1992.)
Address : Glacier National Park of Canada, Glacier, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-11-06
  • 1916 to 1916 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-148

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Glacier is a small, one-storey, log railway station, built in 1916. It is located at the western end of the Connaught Tunnel, in Glacier National Park. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Glacier reflects the CPR's struggle to provide rail service through mountainous terrain afflicted by snowdrifts and avalanches, and to accommodate increasing rail traffic. The Glacier station provided facilities for the newly constructed, double-track Connaught Tunnel. As the point of arrival for growing numbers of tourists and mountaineers, the Glacier station also represents the CPR's efforts to promote tourism along its rail lines.

The rustic design of the Glacier station reflects the CPR policy of erecting stations to complement picturesque settings. Situated at the foot of the Illecillewaet Glacier in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains, the Glacier station sits on one of the most spectacular sites in Canada. Its log construction and rustic architectural vocabulary correspond to its setting. The Glacier station represents the second generation of log stations constructed by the CPR in the Canadian Rockies.

The station retains its natural setting and its traditional relationship to the tracks.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Glacier, British Columbia, May 1993; and Analytica Associates, Railway Station Report 129, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Glacier, British Columbia.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Glacier include: its overall picturesque aesthetic, typical of turn-of-the-century Canadian railway stations, including a dominant roofline, wide, overhanging eaves supported by brackets, and a trackside operator's bay window; its simple form, consisting of a rectangular, gable-roofed volume articulated by intersecting gables and projecting bay windows; its rustic character, as expressed in its rough, round-log construction, its roughly-textured brick and stone chimney, and its shingle roof; the craftsmanship evident in its log construction, including horizontal, chinked-log walls, square-notched, double-scribed corner joints, cantilevered endwork providing bracket-type supports for the gable eaves, and round logs used for projecting roof rafters and eave brackets; its generous fenestration, including bay windows on two sides providing views of the mountains; surviving original stained-glass sashes on the track-side bay window; surviving original interior wall, floor and ceiling finishes, including decorative false beams, burlap dado, and wood panelling and millwork; surviving original interior fittings.