Canadian National Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Unionville, Ontario
Corner view of Canadian National Railway Station, showing both the rear and side façades, 1993. (© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1993.)
Rear elevation
(© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1993.)
Address : 7 Station Lane, Unionville, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1994-01-07
  • 1871 to 1871 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Toronto and Nipissing Railway  (Organization)
  • Canadian National Railways  (Organization)
Other Name(s):
  • Toronto and Nipissing Railway Station  (Other Name)
Research Report Number: RS-169

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railway (CNR) Station at Unionville was built in 1871 for the Toronto and Nipissing (T&N) Railway. It is a modest, single storey shed-like wooden building that stands beside the railway line at 7 Station Lane on the southeastern edge of the village.

Heritage Value

The Unionville Station was designated a heritage railway station because of its environmental, historical, and architectural significance.

The Canadian National Railway (CNR) Station at Unionville was built in 1871 for the Toronto and Nipissing (T&N) Railway. This local line was designed to ship farmers' products, including lumber and grain, to Toronto. The station is a very good example of a cost-effective building which dates from the era of railway expansion in southern Ontario. Architecturally it is the most representative example of early T&N stations in a simple rural design. The largest station constructed along the T&N line to Coboconk, it was built according to a standard plan, with the long gabled shed divided between passenger and agent use. In 1882 the T&N was acquired by the Midland Railway; by 1893 it was amalgamated into the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) which in turn was amalgamated into the CNR in 1920. The station has been rehabilitated by the CNR and today serves as a facility for various community organizations.

The heritage value of Unionville Station resides in its simple massing, traditional materials and detailing, degree of physical integrity, and importance within its setting.

· Heritage Character Statement, Toronto and Nipissing Railway Station, Unionville Ontario, October 1993. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-169, 1993.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Unionville Canadian National Railway Station include: its rectangular footprint and massing, single storey height, and medium pitched gable roof with projecting track eaves, the simplicity and clarity of its lines, its modest shed-like proportions, the inherent balance in its vertical definition, the rhythmic placement of its brackets, its modest, simple details: irregular roof forms, multi-paned paired windows, prominent brackets, broad eaves, varied gables and dormer forms, distinctive gabled dormers on the front facade, its traditional original materials: board and batten siding; austere timber brackets and projecting rafter tails and ridgeplates; cedar shingle roofing; panelled wood doors; and multi-pane double hung sash, the station’s platform frame construction technology, all original fabric inside the station, specifically but not limited to its surviving beaded tongue-and-groove panelling, a moulded cornice, and wooden floors, continued legibility of the station’s original functional configuration through the disposition of its exterior openings, continued legibility of the station’s original interior spaces, their volumes and functions.