VIA Rail Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Montmagny, Quebec
Corner view of VIA Railway Station, showing both the rear and side façades, 1994. (© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, Paul Trépanier, 1994.)
Rear elevation
(© Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, Paul Trépanier, 1994.)
Address : 4 de la Station Street, Montmagny, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1195-05-16
  • 1881 to 1881 (Construction)
  • 1904 to 1904 (Addition)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Intercolonial Railway  (Organization)
  • Canadian National Railways  (Organization)
Other Name(s):
  • Canadian National Railway Station  (Other Name)
  • Intercolonial Railway Station  (Other Name)
Research Report Number: RS-235

Description of Historic Place

The VIA Rail (former Intercolonial Railway (ICR)) station at Montmagny Quebec is a 1 ½ storey brick building under a high hipped roof with attractive vernacular details. It is situated at 4 de la Station Street by the river on the southeast edge of the historic commercial area of Montmagny.

Heritage Value

The VIA Rail station at Montmagny Quebec was designated a heritage railway station for its socio-economic contribution to regional history as well as its architectural and environmental qualities.

Built by the Intercolonial Railway (ICR) in 1881 to replace an earlier Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) station in the community, this station was enlarged in 1904. It became a Canadian National Railways (CNR) station when the ICR was acquired by the CNR in 1919, then in 1986 was renovated as a VIA Rail station.

Montmagny occupied a strategic position as an exchange and service centre on the railway network of the south St. Lawrence River. For its part, the railway encouraged industrial development in Montmagny expediting the arrival of both manpower and capital in the community: the well-known Bélanger foundry is one example of its influence. An industrial sector developed around the station site, and evidence of it is still visible today.

Montmagny’s station is an excellent example of the type of country station the ICR developed to establish its image on lines previously run by other companies. During 1881 the ICR built six new stations on the line between Rivière-du-Loup and Lévis it had acquired from the GTR in 1873. All of these stations were of similar design -- substantial, elegant structures with mansard roofs inspired by a blend of domestic and railway tradition. The station at Montmagny is the only one of these buildings to survive with its major features intact.

Heritage value of the Montmagny station resides in the two-part form of the station as well as the composition, construction materials, and vernacular architectural features of each part. It also lies in the presence of the station as an integral component of the urban fabric of Montmagny.

Heritage Character Statement, VIA Rail Station, Montmagny, Quebec, March 1995. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-235, 1993.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Montmagny VIA Rail Station include:
the rectangular footprint of the station, its massing as a 1 ½ storey cube with a high hipped roof cut by dormers, and a 1 storey addition with a low shed roof, the substantial proportions and domestic form of the 1 ½ storey section, the regular definition of both parts of the structure, the balance inherent in vertical definition of the 1 ½ storey portion, presence of a broad trackside platform cover connecting both segments of the building, the rhythmic placement of its dormers, apertures and brackets, the presence of a projecting telegrapher’s bay, simple, classically inspired details characteristic of early railway / public architecture: arched ground floor apertures, heavy returned eaves, large brackets and a high circular window in the gable apex, rural domestic details characteristic of the region such as the bellcast edges on the roof of the 1 ½ storey section and its regular simply decorated dormers, the varying textures of its original materials: brick walls covered with wood siding on the 1 ½ storey portion, the use of wood as a foundation cap, eave returns, gable and gable roofing material and siding for gable ends, wooden doors and windows, any and all original fabric and finishes inside the station, legibility of the station’s original functional and spatial configuration, particularly the surviving stationmaster’s office, retention of longterm access and circulation routes, the overall integrity of the building’s form, plan, material, and detail.