The Former Canadian National Railway Station
The Former Canadian National Railways(CNR) (VIA Rail/GO Transit) Station at Guelph, built in 1911, is a one-storey, brick railway station with a prominent Italianate tower. It is located on high ground at the centre of Guelph, near the Market Square. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.
The Former CNR (VIA Rail/GO Transit) Station at Guelph reflects a period of prosperity for the Grand Trunk Railway(GTR), during which it upgraded facilities to suit the increased volume of traffic. It also reflects local aspirations to acquire a higher profile station in keeping with the high level of railway service historically obtained by the city.
The Guelph station is characterized by its large size and elaborate design. The station includes a fine Italianate tower and porte cochère, and the use of high-quality finishing materials on the interior. The layout is typical of its time and largely intact.
The station is prominently located on high ground at the city centre. With the city hall and the armoury, it forms a triangle of historic buildings that set the tone for the city’s core. It retains its relationship with its site, including: the tracks, the adjacent war memorial; and a pedestrian subway that connects to Guelph’s main street. In 2016, the City of Guelph began renovations to convert the station to Guelph Central Station, an inter-regional transit hub for local bus and rail transportation.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Former CNR/now VIA Rail and GO Transit Station, Guelph, Ontario, May 1993; Heritage Research Associates, Railway Station Report 145, Former Canadian National Railways Station /now VIA Rail and GO Transit, Guelph, Ontario.