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Former CPR Station building gets funding for exterior renovations

The exterior of the CPR building will receive a bit of a face lift, thanks to the Downtown Facade Improvement Program

The former Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station is a landmark in downtown Moose Jaw, so city council wants to ensure the building retains its distinctive heritage into the future. 

The station — located at the south end of Main Street, at 5 Manitoba Street — was completed in 1922. The property features a six-storey clock and a two-storey waiting hall surrounded by single-storey wings attached on three sides. The building is clad with Tyndall stone and red brick. 

The building was designated a municipal heritage property in 1999. It currently houses several commercial businesses and is a multi-use building. 

During its most recent regular meeting, city council voted 6-1 to approve a funding request from the building’s owners to upgrade the exterior, with funding to come from the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant program. 

Coun. Brian Swanson was opposed. 

The owners of the former train station building want to paint and straighten the front sign; paint the alcove and window frames above the liquor store; and change the lights above the liquor store to match the rest of the building. The total cost is $3,830, with the grant program providing $1,915 in funding. 

Heritage value

A city administration report explains that there is a heritage value with the former CPR Station since it is tied to the community’s history. Canadian Pacific Railway chose Moose Jaw in 1882 as a division point due to its central location and availability of water. The municipality then developed into a pre-eminent railway centre in the future province of Saskatchewan. 

“The Old CPR Station is a symbol of both the confidence placed in Moose Jaw by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the company’s position as a major employer in the community,” the report said. 

A bronze plaque honouring the war efforts of company employees and exterior reliefs of a ship, locomotive and a crest for the CPR speak to that company’s association with the building and important economic role. 

Montreal architect Hugh G. Jones designed the building, which exhibits elements of Italiante architecture. The building is also in a prominent location at the end point of Moose Jaw’s Main Street, while it has a picturesque look that illustrates the various functions of each section of the building. 

The next regular council meeting is Monday, May 27. 

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