Canadian National Railways Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Quebec
Exterior photo (© (Paul Trépanier, 1995.))
Exterior photo
(© (Paul Trépanier, 1995.))
Address : 95 Station Road, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Quebec

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1995-11-24
  • 1859 to 1859 (Construction)

Research Report Number: RS-272

Description of Historic Place

The Canadian National Railways Station (CNR) at Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière is a one-and-a-half-storey, brick railway station, built in 1859. It is located in a rural setting outside the community of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Canadian National Railways Station at Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière represents the beginnings of the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) and of railway construction in Canada. Built by the GTR in 1859 as part of its line to Rivière–du-Loup, the Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière station heralded the arrival of the railway in the eastern valley of the St. Lawrence River. The railway profoundly altered the social and economic life of the town, opening access to distant communities and supporting the town’s role as the home of several prominent educational institutions. The construction of the station at a distance from the town also spawned a separate residential area surrounding the station.

The Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière station is one of two surviving examples from the first generation of stations constructed by the GTR on the Rivière-du-Loup-to-Lévis line, and among the oldest surviving examples of Quebec railway architecture. Its form, detailing and roof shape make direct reference to Quebec residential architecture of the period. Its brick construction reflected the GTR’s desire to project an image of permanence and stability. The second floor provided residential quarters for the station agent.

The station retains its location just outside the town, and its relationship to: the railway tracks; the rural fields on the southern side of the tracks; a freight shed to the east; and a grouping of late-19th-century houses forming the remnants of “La Station” residential district.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Gare du Canadien National, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Québec, n.d.; Paul Trépanier, Railway Station Report 272, Gare du Canadien National, 95, avenue de la Gare, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Québec.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Canadian National Railways Station at Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière include: its simple form and massing, consisting of a one-and-a-half-storey block capped by a steeply pitched, slightly bell-cast, gable roof with wide, overhanging eaves, punctuated on each of the track and street sides by a small, pedimented dormer its rectangular plan, with a projecting station agent’s bay on the track side its exterior woodwork, including: curved, boarded soffits rising from window lintel height under the eaves on both track and street sides; decorative, triangular panels at either end of the soffits; exposed rafter ends; short eave brackets in the gable ends; the dormer pediments supported on small brackets; and surviving original wood trim around windows and doors the configuration of the dormer on each of the track and street sides, comprised of a tripartite opening surmounted by a pediment supported on small brackets the regular arrangement of window and door openings its yellow, brick construction the original location of the station agent’s office within the interior plan surviving original interior finishes