Former Grand Trunk Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Belleville, Ontario
Exterior photo (© (A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1991.))
Exterior photo
(© (A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1991.))
Address : 220 Station Street (at North Lingham St.), Belleville, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-06-04
  • 1855 to 1856 (Construction)
  • 1890 to 1890 (Significant)

Research Report Number: RS-090

Description of Historic Place

The Former Grand Trunk Railway (now Canadian National Railways) Station at Belleville is a two-storey, stone railway station. The station is comprised of a one-storey, Italianate-style structure built in 1855-1856, and a second storey in the Second Empire style added sometime before 1890. The station is located in the city of Belleville. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

Originally built by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in the mid-19th century, the Belleville railway station represents the first phase of construction of Canada’s first transcolonial and international railway. As a major divisional point on the GTR line between Montréal and Toronto, the Belleville station was a prominent part of the provincial railway system. The station also reflects the important role of the railway in supporting Belleville’s resource and manufacturing economy.

The Belleville railway station is one of nine surviving, mid-19th-century, GTR stations in Ontario and one of only two to have had a second storey added. The station is a hybrid of the stone, Italianate-style structure characteristic of first-generation GTR stations, with a late-19th-century Second-Empire-style roof.

The station retains its historical relationship with the railway tracks, the administrative building and the remains of the round house.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Former Grand Trunk Railway Station (now Canadian National Railways), Belleville, Ontario, October 1992; Anne M. de Fort-Menares, Railway Station Report 090, Former Grand Trunk Railway Station (now Canadian National Railways), Belleville, Ontario.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Former Grand Trunk Railway (now Canadian National Railways) Station at Belleville include: its Italianate style, evident in the round-arched window and door openings puncturing the walls on all sides; wide, overhanging eaves; heavily articulated cornice mouldings; segmentally arched dormers; and textural masonry; its size, consisting of six bays on each of the main elevations, and two on each end, in keeping with Type B GTR stations; its second storey with mansard roof, with segmentally arched dormers aligned with the first storey openings on all sides; and covered in black metal shingles; its fine stonework, consisting of bluish-grey Trenton limestone laid in narrow courses of blocks; with corner quoins and window and door surrounds comprised of alternating-sized blocks in a lighter-coloured, sawn limestone with a vermiculated surface.