Former Canadian National Railways (VIA Rail) Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Kitchener, Ontario
Exterior photo (© (M. Carter, March 1992.))
Exterior photo
(© (M. Carter, March 1992.))
Address : 126 Weber Street, Kitchener, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-11-06
  • 1897 to 1897 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-146

Description of Historic Place

The Former Canadian National Railways(CNR) (VIA Rail) Station at Kitchener is a one-storey, brick-clad railway station, built in 1897. It is located on a narrow strip of land on the periphery of the commercial centre of Kitchener. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Former CNR (VIA Rail) Station at Kitchener reflects the turn-of-the-century prosperity and confidence of both the Grand Trunk Railway and the town of Berlin (now Kitchener-Waterloo). The station was constructed to accommodate the increased volume of goods manufactured in Berlin which required rail transport.

The Kitchener station’s simple, horizontal form is a result of 20th century alterations to its original structure following a 1908 fire and 1960s changes in use. Original features include the brick-and-stone masonry and the configuration of openings.

The station retains remnants of the station garden. It is surrounded by factory buildings evocative of the station’s original context and purpose.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Former CNR/now VIA Rail Station, Kitchener, Ontario, May 1993; Heritage Research Associates, Railway Station Report 146, Former Canadian National Railways Station/ now VIA Rail, Kitchener, Ontario.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Former CNR (VIA Rail) Station at Kitchener include: its long, low massing and rectangular plan the strong horizontal emphasis created by: the long expanse of gable hip roof; the deep, overhanging eaves supported on decorative brackets; the projecting brick string course at the level of window and door transoms; and the prominent limestone wainscoting extending to window-sill height the irregular rhythm of round-arched openings of varying widths but similar heights the brick string course, breaking to form stepped arches over openings the projecting telegrapher’s bay on the track (north) side the curved bay on the town (south) side the open porte-cochère at the west end its high-quality brick-and-stone masonry, consisting of buff brick with limestone accents its fine masonry detailing, including: a rough-faced, limestone base; ornate, brick, string coursing; corbelled arches; and an ornate chimney stack surviving interior finishes and detailing from the early 19th century, including: beaded, wood, tongue-and-groove walls and ceilings; fluted window surrounds; and bull’s-eye corner blocks