The following photos were taken with my X-10.
If there is one building that I love to go inside of, it is Windsor Station. It really does take you back in time and you can just “feel” Canada here. CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) has left the station hall open to the public; therefore, you can go in at any time and appreciate a historic building that dates back to 1889.
During WWII, CPR pretty much gave up all it’s resources to the war effort & the Canadian government. Windsor station became the starting point for many a soldiers, airmans and sailors journey into the hell that is war. Just knowing that thousands of men went through this train station and never came back, is very sobering.
The walls of the station are constructed with grey limestone, which was mined from a quarry in Montreal. The architecture is considered to be Richardsonian Romanesque.
Back in 1970, we nearly lost Windsor Station when CPR had the grand idea of tearing it down and erecting a 60-storey office building in it’s place. Because of numerous delays, the project never made it out of the architects office.
Another interesting fact, is the expansion of the station in 1916. This expansion included the building of a 15 storey tower, which dramatically changed the skyline of Montreal. Just think, back in 1916, there was nothing over 15 floors high!
Unfortunately, because of changing times, rail traffic started to slow down in the mid 1980’s and was completely stopped because of the construction of the Bell Centre, which began in 1993. Today’s Bell Centre sits on the site where all the rail lines came into Windsor station. The only rail traffic that comes in now, is the AMT and those trains stop in front of the Bell Centre on the western side of the building.
Even more unfortunate, was the fact that CPR packed it’s bags in 1996 and headed West to Calgary in order to relocate it’s headquarters. Some people may dispute this, but the reason behind can no doubt have been because of the political climate in Quebec and the fact that a referendum on sovereignty just occurred one year earlier. CPR were not the only ones who left town.
Thanks for looking.
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