Canadian National Railways Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Shawinigan, Quebec
Bergeron Gagnon Inc. were commissioned by Parks Canada to write the report so we have the right to use their work (© Parcs Canada | Parks Canada / Bergeron Gagnon Inc.)
Exterior view of the station
(© Parcs Canada | Parks Canada / Bergeron Gagnon Inc.)
Address : 1560 CN way, Shawinigan, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1994-01-07
  • 1929 to 1929 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-179

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railways Station at Shawinigan is a one-storey, brick-and-stone-clad railway station, built in 1929. It is located in the industrial sector of the town of Shawinigan. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian National Railways Station at Shawinigan represents a period when the town was becoming one of the most important industrial centres in Canada, as well as an important regional centre for tourism.

The Shawinigan station is a good example of a second-generation Quebec railway station inspired by the Chateau style. Its use of a monumental entrance is a variation on an otherwise standard railway station form. Built by the Canadian National Railways (CNR) to imitate the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station at Shawinigan built two years earlier, it illustrates the competition that existed between the CNR and CPR.

The station retains its relationship with related railway structures, including the railway tracks, and forms an integral part of Shawinigan’s industrial core. The community values the station for its heritage status.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Gare ferroviaire de VIA Rail, Shawinigan, Québec, October 1993; Jean Provencher et Bergeron Gagnon inc., Railway Station Report 179, Gare de VIA Rail, Shawinigan, Québec.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian National Railways Station at Shawinigan include: its form and massing, consisting of a one-storey, rectangular block, with stepping along both track and street sides culminating in a projecting telegrapher’s bay on the track side and a projecting entrance bay on the street side, capped by a series of stepped hipped roofs, with transverse gables over the projecting bays on both sides its Chateau style, evident in the shaped gable ends at each projecting bay, segmentally arched window and door openings and the elaborate stone trim around openings, at corners and along the profile of the gable ends its monumental entrance features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including hipped roofs, wide, overhanging eaves extending to form a platform canopy on all sides of the building, wood brackets supporting the eaves, and a projecting telegrapher’s bay its masonry, consisting of brick cladding and limestone trim its stone trim, used along the foundation to sill level, around openings, at corners, around the gable ends and as corbels supporting the brackets the elaborate, paired, wood canopy brackets and decorative rafter ends its interior plan, consisting of a main block, symmetrical around a central axis, which contains the waiting rooms, restaurant and telegrapher’s office and an extension on one end, distinguished by its slightly lower roof, that was holding the baggage and express rooms surviving multi-light, sash windows and wood doors surviving original interior finishes and fixtures, including terrazzo floors, light fixtures, window trim and high ceilings.