Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Parry Sound, Ontario
Corner view of Canadian Pacific Railway Station, showing both the rear and side façades, 1993. (© Heritage Research Associates, M. Carter, 1993.)
Rear elevation
(© Heritage Research Associates, M. Carter, 1993.)
Address : 1 Avenue Road, Parry Sound, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1994-03-10
  • 1907 to 1907 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Canadian Pacific Railway  (Organization)
Research Report Number: RS-205

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) built this station in 1907. It sits high on a hill at the junction of Avenue Road and Waubeek Road. The castle-like profile of its distinctive tower end can be readily seen from the downtown area below.

Heritage Value

This station has been designated a heritage railway station because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) built this station in 1907 when it opened a Toronto-Sudbury Branch line to increase its access to established Ontario markets during a time of intense transcontinental railway competition. The appearance of several railway lines transformed Parry Sound from a quiet backwater into a modern industrial centre and a tourist destination during this period. This station, with its striking design and siting, was a deliberate CPR bid for attention. It was created by the CPR's Engineering Department in Montréal under F.P. Gutelius, and built under contract by David Chalmers, superintending architect. The building is a bold composition of a steep, picturesque roofline with a bellcast canopy, and a massive corner tower. Its practical form and layout remains largely intact today since it continued to provide quarters for VIA Rail and CPR crews for a decade after the station closed in 1982. This is a rare example of a first generation CPR Ontario station still on its original site.

The heritage value of the CPR station at Parry Sound resides in its compact massing, in the attractive patterns created by the windows, door openings, materials application and in its picturesque setting.

· Heritage Character Statement, former Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Parry Sound, Ontario, March 1994. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-205, 1993.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the former Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Parry Sound include:
the station’s long rectangular footprint with a circular end, compact massing as a single storey block under a steeply-pitched hipped roof with slightly bell-cast eaves, and a circular “tower” with a high conical roof, the station’s distinctive profile, its late Victorian proportions, the balance inherent in its vertical definition, the alignment and rhythmic placement of apertures and brackets on the body of the building, the gazebo-like effect of the close placement of windows and windowlights on the tower, smooth integration of the telegrapher’s bay into the overall design of the station as a small hipped dormer, the picturesque inspiration of station details: tower end, broad slightly bell-cast eaves, multi-paned windows, brackets, the varying textures of its original materials: shingle cladding and roofing (originally cedar shingles, now asbestos), smooth glass, wooden windows and doors with multiple panes and panels, the station’s platform frame construction technology, all original fabric and furnishings inside the station, their forms, materials and finishes, continued legibility of the station’s original functional and spatial configuration, particularly its general waiting room, ladies waiting room, baggage room and express room, continuity of its longstanding circulation patterns, the orientation of the station on its site, and in particular the visible placement of its tower end with its distinctive roof profile, the station’s site on the edge of a cliff over looking the town.