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Centennial of Winnipeg’s Union Station
In commemoration of the centennial of Winnipeg’s Union Station, VIA Rail Canada commissioned the production of an original work exploring the historical significance of trains and train travel, from station to railway, in Winnipeg as well as in the building of Canada.
This National Film Board of Canada presentation has been compiled from more than 70 years of material archived in the NFB vaults. From acclaimed Director/Editor Yves Chaput.
History: Celebrating 100 Years
Construction of Winnipeg’s Union Station took place over three years, from 1908 to1911. The first train arrived at the station on August 7, 1911 with the station's official opening following on June 24, 1912. The station provided terminal facilities for the Canadian Northern Railway, the National Transcontinental Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Its construction was a joint venture between the three companies and the Dominion government; a partnership of consequence, as it broke the rail traffic monopoly previously held by the Canadian Pacific Railway in Manitoba. This joint venture’s significance is also reflected in the name Union Station.
In 1978, VIA Rail was born (a consolidation of Canadian Pacific Railway’s and Canadian National Railway’s passenger services). At that time Union Station became Winnipeg’s only passenger train terminal and soon after, its only railway station. By 1986, VIA purchased Union Station and became its sole owner.
The building was designed in a “Beaux-Arts” style by New York’s architectural firm Warren and Wetmore (of New York Grand Central Terminal fame) and constructed from local Tyndall limestone, in which many fossils are still visible (we welcome you to go have a look!).
In November 1977, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada deemed Union Station a building of national significance. In 1980, it was added to the list of heritage buildings recommended for conservation by the City of Winnipeg, due to its influence with the expansion of the city during the pre-World War I boom as well as its exceptional architectural design. Finally, in 1989, Union Station was officially designated a heritage building by the Historical Monument Board of Canada.
We celebrate 100 years of this beautiful building, and commemorate its vast contribution to Winnipeg’s history.
Press Release & Presse Conference
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