St. Marys Museum seminar examines abandoned railway stations

Contact Us

Update: Due to high demand, this seminar has been moved to the St. Marys Friendship Centre (Multi-purpose Room), located at 317 James St S, St. Marys. 

Abandoned railway buildings and ways to reincorporate them into the community will be the topic of the next seminar at the St. Marys Museum. Heritage professional Laurence Grant will lead the seminar, which is happening on Thursday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m.

After a number of years working in the museum field, Grant is now the contract historian for the Canada Southern Railway Station in St. Thomas. During the seminar, he will discuss the recent history of this 1873 Italianate building, the difficulties the community faced when saving and restoring it, the restoration process and its financing. He will then explain the ongoing challenges involved in making this project financially viable, illustrating his talk with historic and contemporary photographs of the station.

This seminar has significance to St. Marys. In the golden age of the railway, beautiful buildings were constructed across Canada to serve as stations along the way. Although rail service has ceased or dwindled in many places, these buildings remain. St. Marys has two of them: the VIA Station on James Street North and the Junction Station on Glass Street.

The 1907 VIA Station is thriving. Restored in 1988, it still has a passenger ticket outlet and its office space is rented to local businesses. The central area of the building houses the St. Marys Station Gallery, which exhibits the work of artists and crafts people from this area. The station is now one of the Town’s tourist attractions.

The 1858 Junction Station is another story. On the extreme northeast border of St. Marys, its location has always been against it. Although it has been weather-proofed and secured from vandals, it still sits on the outskirts, waiting for a new purpose.

The Museum’s seminar committee hopes that Grant’s presentation will inspire our community to find a new life for the Junction Station, a nationally designated building. The cost is $12 ($10 for museum members). Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call 519-284-3556 or email

- 30 -


Brett O’Reilly | Corporate Communications & Events Manager
519-284-2340, ext. 432 |