It’s a designated heritage site that has been sitting vacant for over a year. 

The city’s Heritage Advisory Committee held their May 15 meeting at the former CPR station. It was a first for the advisory committee as they have toured heritage buildings before but never held a meeting at a heritage site. 

Along with holding the meeting, the committee was also received a complete tour throughout the building. 

The former CPR station has been vacant since February of 2023 when the provincial government closed the SLGA liquor store. 

City councillor Crystal Froese is a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee. She said the committee is concerns that the property has been vacant for over a year. 

“I know we have staff at the city who have been helping try to find other uses for it, working with the owners and with the management company as well because it’s a really fantastic space,” she said. 

The former CPR station was constructed in 1922 and the city designated it as a heritage property on Nov. 29, 1999. It was designed by Montreal architect Hugh G. Jones, who also designed Toronto’s Union Station. 

Froese said the train station played a key role in the growth of the city in its early days from bringing immigrants into the city to seeing soldiers off to war during the First and Second World Wars. 

She feels the building is a staple that sits at the bottom of Main Street from the architecture to its history. 

“If you look at the old, archived picture, at one time it had a beautiful garden where the parking lots are and it was really a central location and a central hub,” Froese said. 

Heritage Advisory Committee meetingThe Heritage Advisory Committee met at the former CPR station have has been vacant since the SLGA liquor store closed in 2023. (Photo courtesy: John Tro

John Trodd is also a member of the advisory committee and restoring the clock tower has been a labour of love. 

He said even the clock tower is a unique piece of history that is worth saving. 

“It’s a fascinating piece of history itself. It’s one of the first electric clocks in North America of that size, which is one of the problems because it was one of the first, it suffered a lot of, not neglect, but just pieces that can’t be remanufactured. We had to replace some of the actual mechanism of the clock with devices that can run it a little more modern,” Trodd said. 

The Heritage Advisory Committee provides the city with policy advice and recommendations for matters arising from The Heritage Property Act, the designation of municipal heritage properties and district, the development and alteration of heritage properties and other matters relating to heritage properties.