Canadian National Railways Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Comber, Ontario
Exterior photo (© (A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1994.))
Exterior photo
(© (A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1994.))
Address : Maple Street, Comber, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1996-07-06
  • 1872 to 1873 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-250

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railways Station (CNR) at Comber is a one-storey, wood-frame railway station, built in 1872-73. It is located at the foot of Maple Street, in the north end of the community of Comber. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian National Railways (CNR) Station at Comber reflects the key role of the Canadian Southern Railway(CSR) during a period of intense railway competition. The CSR was an engine of settlement and economic growth in southwestern Ontario, supporting the heavy timber and agricultural industries. The railway was essential to the growth of Comber.

The Comber station is one of the few surviving, early railway stations built by the CSR. Its design is typical of the first generation stations built by railway companies in Ontario. It is one of perhaps three wooden stations in Ontario dating from the 1870s.

The station retains its relationship with its site, including: the track layout; the road network; and adjacent feed mills and grain elevators.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian National Railways Station, Comber, Ontario, September 1995; Anne M. de Fort-Menares, Railway Station Report 250, Canadian National Railways Station, Comber, Ontario.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian National Railways Station at Comber include: its simple rectangular plan its wood frame construction and board-and-batten sheathing its domestic form and scale, consisting of a one-storey block with a medium-pitch, gable roof the projecting operator’s bay on the south side Classical revival design principles, expressed in: the medium-pitch, gable roof; and the tall window openings with bracketed entablatures and chamfered casings (still legible within infilled areas) the influence of the simplified Carpenter Gothic style, evident in: the vertical, board-and-batten siding; plain frieze and base boards; and machine-made wood trim throughout the influence of the Italianate style, evident in the wide, overhanging eaves consisting of a plain boxed cornice with bed mould, fascia board and beaded soffits, supported on triangulated eave brackets surviving original exterior window and door trim elements surviving original interior finishes, including: beaded boarding on the ceiling; a moulded wood cornice; horizontal beaded boarding on the walls; a picture moulding; window trim consisting of drilled corner blocks and chamfered trim; and a wood floor.