Description of Historic Place
The VIA Rail Station at Trois-Rivières is a large, stone, Beaux-Arts-style railway station built in 1924. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building and the adjacent butterfly sheds.
The VIA Rail Station at Trois-Rivières reflects the 1920s Canadian Pacific Railway policy of replacing old railway stations with substantial, modern stations, in order to increase the company’s prestige. The station also reflects the Canadian Pacific Railway’s recognition of Trois-Rivières as an emerging industrial centre on the north shore with a rapidly expanding population.
The VIA Rail Station at Trois-Rivières is a rare example of a monumental station in a small city. It was designed in the late Beaux-Arts style by the well known Montréal architectural firm of Ross & MacDonald. The late Beaux-Arts style is evident in its austere, geometric lines and the sparing use of classical detailing on the exterior, and in the elegant proportions and arrangement of the interior. The interior decoration of the building is notable for its murals and heraldic ornaments by Canadian painter Adam Sherriff Scott.
The building is distinguished by its angled relationship with the municipal street plan and the track alignment, which define the plan of the building. Trackside elements, such as the butterfly sheds, point to the building’s former use as a railway station.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Trois-Rivières, Québec, November 2, 1990; Rhona Goodspeed, Railway Station Report 016, Trois-Rivières Railway Station, 1065 Champflour Street, Trois-Rivières, Québec.
Character-defining elements of the VIA Rail Station at Trois-Rivières include:
- exterior features which characterize it as a late example of the Beaux-Arts style, including smooth-surfaced walls of coursed ashlar, flat roofs, richly detailed classical entrance loggia with turned stone columns, stretched pilasters, deep entablature and carved-stone clock; and the generally subdued ornamentation elsewhere on the building;
- the visual unity of the principal exterior elevations, achieved by the use of a pale Deschambault stone for all walls and dressings, the regularly spaced and uniformly proportioned and detailed windows, and the stone parapet broken by a short length of balustrade panel centred over each window;
- the strong horizontal profile of the building, reinforced by the projecting main cornice on both storeys;
- the plan of the building, comprised of two superimposed rectangles, one paralleling the tracks and the other paralleling the street grid;
- the exterior expression of interior function, evident in the raised storey of the centre portion, reflecting the interior concourse;
- original interior artwork by Adam Sheriff Scott, including a mural entitled “Transportation”, a smaller painting depicting a night view of a racing steam locomotive and a dozen armorial bearings on side walls;
- surviving original interior detailing, including modillion brackets supporting the pseudo-beams and girders of the dropped ceiling, the station clock, ornamental plaster aedicules framing the Scott paintings and the clock and ornamental plaster surrounds and false balustrades at the windows;
- surviving original interior finishes, including mottled plaster walls, polished, cast-stone dado, formed plaster trim finished and painted to imitate stone, cast-stone door trim, oiled and varnished hardwood joinery and formed plaster ceiling beams painted to imitate wood;
- surviving original interior fittings, including Italian Renaissance-style, electric, bracket lanterns and chandeliers, and arrival/departure indicators;
- the trackside butterfly sheds, which speak to the building’s use as a railway station.