Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) National Historic Site of Canada
Canadian National Railways Station, Biggar
Gare du Canadien National à Biggar
Grand Trunk Railway Station
Gare du Grand Tronc
VIA Rail Canada Train Station: Biggar
Gare de VIA Rail Canada à Biggar
Links and documents
1908/01/01 to 1910/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) National Historic Site of Canada is a large, one-and-a-half-storey, light timber frame structure built in the first decade of the 20th century. It is located on the southern boundary of the town of Biggar, Saskatchewan. The formal recognition refers to the building on its footprint at the time of designation.
The Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1976 to:
- commemorate the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which played a significant role in the development of the western provinces and whose stations buildings, like the Biggar example, remain a distinctive contribution to Canada’s architectural heritage.
The heritage value of this site resides in its association with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway as illustrated by the building’s location, setting, and architecture. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was created in 1903 to provide its parent company, the Grand Trunk Railway Company with a western line and connections. Construction of the station at Biggar, a virtually uninhabited spot on the prairies, illustrates the role that railway companies played in the development of western Canada. Built in 1909 to a Grand Trunk Railway Company standard plan, the Biggar Railway Station (Grand Trunk Pacific) is a good example of pre-First World War, western Canadian, rural, railway station design. Its design was influenced by the “artistic” bungalow style of the early 20th century. As with other towns created by the railway, Biggar grew from the station and its status as a divisional point provided a sustained period of economic growth.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, May 1979, June 1976.
The key elements that relate to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location in what is now the town of Biggar, Saskatchewan;
- its siting next to the railway tracks;
- those elements illustrating the Grand Trunk Railway Company design typical of small stations built to a standard plan for rural railway stations between 1895 and 1905, including:
- the low, rectangular, horizontal one-and-a-half-storey massing;
-the high bell-cast, hipped roof, the brick chimney stacks, the projecting operator’s bay, the large gabled dormers over projecting bays on both main elevations, and the single, shed dormer;
- the projecting canopy with large supporting brackets;
- the original arrangement of window and door openings, many with multiple-light transoms above, and surviving original fenestration including double-hung window units with multiple-lights over a single-light sash;
- original doors including framed-and-panelled single and double doors, and sliding freight doors with panels of vertical and diagonal V joint boarding;
- original wood cladding, including dropped siding on the upper section of wall and a low dado consisting of plain chair rail, vertical V joint board panelling, and plain baseboard;
- evidence of the original interior layout and interior finishes.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Station or Other Rail Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection