North Bay CPR Station, North Bay

This station at North Bay was built in 1903 by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Once an important hub of transnational rails, the North Bay CPR Station was home to the district divisional offices between 1901 and 1959.

Located at the west edge of North Bay's downtown core, the station dominates the western approach to the city and commands the vista across the former rail yard to the waterfront. Although it now appears as a unified two-storey block, the station was erected in two phases. Originally the south end was one storey but was enlarged in the 1930s-40s. The heritage character resides in the station's robust massing, rich colours and textures and its striking presence on the site.

The station is a two-storey building capped with a shallow, slightly bell-cast hipped roof. The upper eaves do not extend past the walls, but the characteristic passenger shelter is provided by an encircling separate canopy supported on simple, graceful struts. Simplicity of form is more than compensated for by the extravagance of colour and texture found in the masonry work – exaggerated quoins in dressed dark sandstone boldly outline the windows, door openings and separate fields of paler variegated limestone with a rock-faced finish. The long elevations are nearly identical, with a series of three massive arches tucked under a deep overhanging canopy at the ground floor. The tripartite configuration is continued within the arches, each of which contains three windows or a door flanked by two windows. The station was designed with great attention to detail and with high quality materials, many of which remain.

The Ontario Heritage Trust secured a heritage easement to conserve the building in 2001.