St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada
St. Marys Junction, Ontario
(© Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, 1993.)
Glass Street, St. Marys Junction, Ontario
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1858 to 1858
1858 to 1970
Event, Person, Organization:
Grand Trunk Railway
Canadian National Railways
Gzowski and Co.
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk)
GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY - ST. MARY'S JUNCTION
Research Report Number:
The Grand Trunk was incorporated in 1853 to run from Sarnia to Portland, Maine. Although it took in existing lines, new ones had to be built, including the Toronto to Sarnia section which was undertaken by the Canadian firm of Gzowski and Company and completed in 1859. This station is a rare example in stone of the stations built by the Gzowski firm for the Grand Trunk. Erected between 1854 and 1856, the station served for a time as the western terminus of the line and later became an important junction on the railway.
Description of Historic Place
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada is a mid 19th-century single-storey limestone building in the Italianate design typical of the Grand Trunk Railway’s original Ontario stations. It stands in a field near a small enclave of buildings north of the town of St. Marys beside the junction where Canadian National Railways mainlines from Toronto diverge to cross the Canada / United States border at Windsor or Sarnia. The official recognition refers to the building on its footprint as of 1973.
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) was designated a national historic site in 1973 because: it is a rare example in stone of the small stations built for the Grand Trunk Railway; and it served for a time as the western terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway and later became an important junction on the railway.
St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada portrays the Italianate design for a First Class Way Side Station created by British architect Francis Hopkins for stations of the early Grand Trunk Railway line. This railway, which ran from Sarnia, Ontario to Portland, Maine, was the first railway line of significant length built in Canada. The line was constructed in segments. This station is located on the western section of the main line between Toronto and Sarnia begun by Gzowski and Co. in 1856 and completed in 1860. The station itself was constructed in 1858 using limestone from the St. Marys area. As well as serving as a passenger and freight depot, the station accommodated the manual switch that routed early trains at the junction.
The heritage value of St. Marys Junction Railway Station (Grand Trunk) National Historic Site of Canada resides in its rarity both as an original small Grand Trunk Railway Station, and as one built of stone on the western segment of Grand Trunk mainline. It also resides in the clarity with which this station represents the Grand Trunk Railway’s early operations as seen through the design, scale, composition, materials, assembly and siting of the station.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1973 and May 1979.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
the rectangular footprint and single-storey massing of the station under a shallow pitched gable roof; its Italianate details such as the regular placement of its round-headed openings, deep overhanging eaves, ornate chimneys, bull's-eye window vents; its solid wall limestone construction with wood detailing; the skilled craftsmanship evident in its regularly coursed masonry, stone surrounds, and chimneys; surviving early interior furnishings and fittings in their materials, form, and finishes, including tongue-and-groove wainscot, wooden baseboards and picture rails, plaster walls and ceilings, wood shutters, windows, and panel doors; evidence of the original functional layout and interior spatial volumes.