Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Strathcona is a two-storey railway station, built in 1907. It is located in the heart of the neighbourhood known as Old Strathcona, on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River in the city of Edmonton. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at Strathcona reflects the economic expansion of western Canada at the turn of the century, and the local growth and optimism fuelled by railway companies in northern Alberta. Built in 1907 as part of a major CPR redevelopment project to establish Strathcona as the dominant terminal in northern Alberta, the Strathcona station was soon eclipsed by the construction of competing lines and stations on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River. The Strathcona station reflects the early patterns of local development on the south side of the river that preceded Strathcona’s amalgamation with the city of Edmonton.
The Strathcona station is a substantial and well-executed example of turn-of-the-century railway station design. The polygonal tower is a typical feature of important turn-of-the-century CPR stations.
The station is located in the heart of the heritage district known as Old Strathcona. It is surrounded by buildings of similar scale and vintage, giving a rare sense of the scale of the depot within its original community. It serves as a local landmark and is municipally recognized as a heritage building. The station retains vestiges of the original station garden, in the form of a small treed park to the north of the station. It also retains its relationship to surviving railway structures, including the railway tracks and rail yards.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Strathcona (South Edmonton), Alberta], January 1992; Heritage Research Associates and Great Plains Research Consultants, Railway Station Report 063, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Strathcona (South Edmonton), Alberta.
Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at Strathcona include:
-its simple form and massing, comprised of an elongated rectangle at ground level, an off-centre rectangle on the second level, projecting bays on both track (west) and town (east) sides, and a large hexagonal tower projecting upward from the east bay
-its roof line, comprised of hip roofs on the upper and lower levels, a hexagonal roof on the tower and flared, overhanging eaves on the lower level and around the contour of the hexagonal tower which create a broad, platform canopy on all sides of the building
-the off-centre, two-storey, hexagonal tower on the track side
-features typical of 20th-century railway stations, including broad, hip roofs, wide, overhanging eaves on the ground floor, large, wooden brackets spaced at regular intervals, and projecting operator’s bays
-projecting operator’s bays on both sides of the building, intended to accommodate tracks on both sides
-its use of red brick wall cladding and Tyndall stone accents to provide texture and detail, particularly in the projecting bays and tower
-its stone detailing, including foundations, quoins, bracket corbels and tower finial
-the pattern of openings arranged in multiple units to emphasize the horizontal character of the facades
-surviving original window units with large lower panes and contrasting small-paned transoms
-deep bracketed eaves with heavy timber brackets resting on decorative stone corbels
-its use of wood shingles as a roofing material
-surviving original interior finishes, including high, wood baseboards and other wood mouldings