Canadian Pacific Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Owen Sound, Ontario
Exterior photo (© (A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1994.))
Exterior photo
(© (A. M. de Fort-Menares, 1994.))
Address : First Avenue East (at 12th St. E.), Owen Sound, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1996-07-06
  • 1946 to 1947 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-255

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Owen Sound is a one-storey, International-style, railway station built in 1946-47. It is located on the harbour, between the docks and the railway tracks, in the city of Owen Sound. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Owen Sound is a fine example of the CPR’s post World War II modernization program. It was one of six stations built by the CPR immediately after the war as a pilot project to create economical spaces using modern materials and structural approaches. The station represents the ongoing importance of the CPR to Owen Sound.

One of six stations built by the CPR between 1945-8 as part of a pilot project to create economical space using modern materials and structural approaches, the Owen Sound station is the most progressive of the group. It is a superb example of post-war modernism, expressing the influence of the International style with a liveliness and integrity well ahead of contemporary Ontario architecture. The station is virtually unchanged since its construction.

The station retains its siting between the railway tracks and the docks.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Owen Sound, Ontario, September 1995; Anne M. de Fort-Menares, Railway Station Report 255, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, First Avenue East, Owen Sound, Ontario.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Owen Sound include: its streamlined massing, consisting of a long, low, flat-roofed volume, intersected by a sleek, limestone-clad stair tower the horizontality of the design, emphasized by: the limestone base and lintels; the groupings of windows; the strong canopy line; the coping of the flat roofs; and the low roof height the linearity of the design, emphasized by: groupings of windows with horizontal muntins and narrow transoms; by the thin but strong canopy line and copings; and by projecting horizontal bands of brick on the north elevation modernist design elements, including: round, porthole windows; the sleek, flat canopy with rounded corners and recessed lighting; steel, canopy support columns; stylish flagpoles; and the use of glass brick nautical elements appropriate to its dockside location, including: the stair tower suggestive of the prow of a ship; and the porthole windows the projecting operator’s bay its use of mottled brick for upper walls; and the elegant Indiana limestone base surviving original interior finishes, including: horizontal, birch, plywood panelling; stained walnut; glass block; curved walls; sleek, red quarry tile in the waiting room; finished concrete floors; and acoustic ceiling tiles surviving original interior features in the washrooms, including: porcelain fixtures; wall and floor tiles; skylights and round wall mirrors surviving original fittings and fixtures, including: the metal and glass-brick ticket wicket; the stamped aluminum fixtures for fluorescent-strip lighting; and chrome and leather furniture in the waiting room