Niagara Falls Railway Station
4267 Bridge Street, Niagara Falls.

Railway stations are an important element in Canadian history.  Their construction through the 19th century corresponded with the expansion of Canada, geographically, economically and demographically.  The construction of the Canadian Pacific connecting the west coast with central Ontario was integral in bringing the western provinces into Confederation.

As with many railway stations in Ontario, Niagara Falls' station is constructed of red brick in a form of secular neo-gothic, this form being popular in late 19th century Canada, contrasting with the more neo-classical forms popular in the United States.  

It was originally built for the Great Western Railway in 1879, being designed by Joseph Hobson, the Chief Engineer for the Great Western.  Since then it has been used by the Grand Trunk Railway, Canadian National Railways (CN Rail), Via Rail, and currently by GO Transit and a once-a day Via/Amtrak service between New York and Toronto.  

The building was designated a heritage site in 1994 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

As with most railway stations, numerous modifications have been made, as the nature of rail travel has evolved, yet the key external features remain.  With heritage designation, and expanding train connections to Toronto, it is likely that the station will survive.

Things to consider: 

- the Gothic Revival details, including the asymmetries, the Gothic windows with stone detailing and the impressive roofs, with an unusual hipped-gable configuration.

- how the station connects to the United States, across the Whirlpool Rapids bridge, completed in 1897, and replacing an earlier suspension bridge.  The bridge has two decks, the lower one being for road traffic.

- how the commercial centre of Niagara Falls developed around the station, and how it disappeared through the last half of the 20th century. 

- the masonry and masonry detail.  The exterior is "warm-red brick laid in a Flemish, cross bond, fine, recessed joints in a buff-grey mortar and hammered-stone accents"…"including including a projecting, bevelled base course, brick courses at window-sill level at the spring of the arches, at the second-storey floor line and under the eaves, quoined, brick corner-piers, raised, brick borders around openings and hammered-stone keystones, springer voussoirs and window sills"  (details from the Register of Historic Places)

- Imagine how the station might be used in the short-term future. 

-  Imagine how the station might used in a hundred years time.