Ottawa (ON) Union Station

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by MasonJar, May 18, 2004.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    The Ottawa Grand Trunk Union Station is now a government conference centre. Slated for demolition to "beautify" the capital during our Centennial celebrations, it was saved instead. For more about this excellent building, see David Jeanes' excellent essay on the Heritage Ottawa web site. The "before" pictures are from that site, although originally from the National Archives or the CN collection at the Museum of Science and Technology.

    I was fortunate to be sent to a conference here the other week, and spent my lunch hour taking some shots

    Andrew

    The front door:

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  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    This is the side, taken from the bridge over the Rideau Canal.

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  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Here is what it looked like in approximately 1912.

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  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    This is the front lobby. Probably a little different from what it originally looked like.

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  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    After you walk through the doors under the flags, you go down stairs to the original waiting room. It looked like this:

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  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Now it looks like this:

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  7. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

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    That buiding is too beautiful to demolish. I am glad they took it over and fixed it up. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  8. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    A most beautiful building!!! At the 2001 railfair we had a slide presentation of the history of this Union station ,, most intresting.
    Thanks ever so much for this thread Andrew. :)
  9. cobra

    cobra Member

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    That's truely a magnificent building . I can't believe I've never been to Ottawa , usually trave south or west , sad to say . I will have to make the effort to Ottawa some day , and will make sure I take in Union Station.
    NEIL
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Now that's a station!!!! So glad it will be preserved!!
    Ralph
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Just for clarification - 1967 was Canada's centennial year. That year (or leading up to it) was probably the biggest threat to the building, but since the government is responsible for it, and the NCC (National Capital Commission) has its hand(s) in things, there is always a threat. Ideas over the years have included a Sports Hall of Fame, a history museum focussing on Prime Ministers and Parliament, and so on. It is not known what sort of effect this would have. At least in its current condition, you can still see a lot of the details, and get a sense of what it might have been like to wait for a train here.

    Now, on with the show...

    Andrew
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    The elevator appears to be old - maybe original. I think it might have been one of those open iron ones, based on the way the stairs wrap around it. Of course, that is not safe, so it has been closed in with what look like metal plates. The interior is all new too, but the outside still looks good.

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  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Other parts of the interior have not fared as well. This hallway may be in its original location, based on a few doors, but the treatment has not been flattering. Kind of looks like a 1960s rec-room got out of hand. Incidentally, the only original interior doors that I found were all now on handicapped-access washrooms. I think it is because of the width - they must be at least 3 1/2 feet wide! You may be able to make one out at the right hand end of this hallway. (I don't know how the offices were treated, I didn't get to go "upstairs").

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  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Going back outside again, here is the view from the bridge over the Rideau Canal. The trains used to come up from the mains that ran across town where the main highway is now. The trainsheds were huge, and covered a lot of ground. This particular train is about to head under the bridge, past the Chateau Laurier and over the Interprovincial (Royal Alexandra) Bridge to what was Hull (now Gatineau) Quebec.

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  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    In the bottom right of this picture, you can see where the train is going.

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  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Here are the views today. The Chateau Laurier pic is taken from a slightly different angle - walking out the front door of the station.

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  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    This is what "they" have done to the former entrance "From Trains". I have no idea how it looked before.

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  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Last one...

    This is looking at the tunnel under the bridge - the route the train would have taken to go under the street, to the Chateau, and into Quebec.

    What is interesting about this shot is that most of the visible buildings have been here for ~100 years, so the view would have been the same for people "back then"...

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  19. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    So that's it. I hope you enjoyed the tour! If anyone would like the fullsize, hi-res images, send me an email. They are 2300x1700 pixels, about 1.2 MB each. Unfortunately I do not have the capacity to burn them to a CD, but I would be happy to email them to you.

    Andrew
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Very nice, Andrew, as a "hoosier" I of course love limestone. Great photo's of one of your nation's great and beautiful wonders.