Canadian National Railways/VIA Rail Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Port-Daniel, Quebec
Exterior photo (© (Photographie Christiane Lefebvre, 1994.))
Exterior photo
(© (Photographie Christiane Lefebvre, 1994.))
Address : 490, highway 132, Port-Daniel, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1996-07-06
  • 1908 to 1908 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-247

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railways/VIA Rail Station at Port-Daniel is a one-storey, wood railway station, built in 1908. It is perched on the shoreline of the Gaspé Peninsula, looking out over Port Daniel Bay. The station is located at the heart of the town of Port Daniel, with the main highway to the Gaspé running past its town side. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian National Railways/VIA Rail Station at Port-Daniel reflects the importance of the Atlantic, Quebec and Western Railway (AQWR) in ending the physical isolation of communities along the Gaspé Peninsula. The arrival of the railway and the construction of the railway station brought immediate improvements in the economic and daily life of the community.

The Port Daniel railway station is one of only three surviving examples of the numerous stations built by the AQWR along the Gaspé peninsula. Its design and detailing are typical of early-20th-century, Canadian, railway station architecture. Its comparatively large size reflects its temporary function as the terminal for the Gaspé rail line, pending the construction of the Port Daniel tunnel completing the line.

The station retains its relationship with adjacent related structures, including: the railway tracks; an iron wharf used by railway employees; housing built to accommodate railway employees; the local hotel where railway workers and passengers stayed; an iron railway bridge; and the Port Daniel Tunnel. The station is now used by the town as its town hall.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Gare du Canadien National, Municipalité de Port-Daniel, Québec, September 1995; Christiane Lefebvre, Architecte, Railway Station Report 247, Gare du Canadien National/VIA Rail Municipalité de Port-Daniel, Québec.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian National Railways/VIA Rail Station at Port-Daniel include: its form and massing, consisting of a one-storey, rectangular block with bow windows on three sides, covered by a broad, medium-pitch, hip roof with wide, overhanging eaves features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including: a hip roof; a rectangular plan; wide, overhanging eaves forming a platform canopy on all sides; wood brackets supporting the canopy; and the station agent’s bow window on the track side the irregular arrangement of window and door openings, corresponding with interior functions its fenestration, characterized by: large, multi-light, sash windows; and a bow window on each of three sides, corresponding with the station agent’s office, the waiting room (former entrance) and the washrooms surviving original wood sash windows with multiple lights (nine-over-nine and six-over-six) its wood frame construction its wood exterior, including: horizontal wood boarding; and wood trim at the base of the walls, around window and door openings, and at corners remnants of the original interior plan, including: the waiting room; and the station agent’s office (corresponding with the bow window on the track side) the raised floor of the former freight room, intended to facilitate the loading of goods surviving original interior finishes and fixtures, including: the wood floors and ceilings; wood benches built into the perimeter of the waiting room.