The Carleton Place Train Station 1991

The Carleton Place Train Station 1991
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Oct 1991, Fri  •  Page 4

The old limestone train station here near the entrance of town is the last of its kind in the upper Ottawa Valley. But many years of neglect and bouts of vandalism have taken their toll on the former Canadian Pacific Railway station. Its roof is sagging and the rows of long, rectangular windows are boarded up. Even the tracks that once stretched past the back of the building are gone. Yet local heritage enthusiasts are hopeful the 70-year-old building may soon reopen. Along with 21 other stations across Canada, it was recently designated heritage under the federal Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act. Heather Lebeau thinks it’s a godsend. “It means (the station) is saved from demolition,” says Lebeau, a member of the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee. “It’s quite an achievement,” she says.

About 18 months ago, the heritage group submitted a report to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada asking that the building be considered for heritage designation. Lebeau says the condition of the abandoned depot was getting worse. If it was going to be saved, the designation was needed as soon as possible, she says. “Our main concern is that the history of the building remains intact. Our concerns (were) about its bad repair.” Tim Campbell, chairman of the committee, says under the heritage act, the building can’t be destroyed or altered” in any way without approval from the federal cabinet. “I’m very pleased about it,” says Campbell, who plans to make heritage an issue in this year’s municipal election. He’s running for council. “I would like to see it preserved.”

The station is among three heritage landmarks in town that risked being torn down. The historic Mississippi Hotel in the downtown core and the century-old auditorium on the second floor of the town hall are also in need of great repair. Between the 1920s and 1950s, about 30 freight trains and a dozen passenger cars pulled into the Carleton Place station daily. Saturday mornings were especially hectic when as many as 150 people traipsed through the station. But by the early 1960s, freight trains were losing a lot of business to transport trucks. And Carleton Place felt the squeeze. Cargo service dropped significantly and fewer passengers came through town. By the 1970s, passenger service to Carleton Place was discontinued altogether. It returned briefly in the late 1980s, but finally stopped in December 1989. The tracks were lifted a month later. Lebeau believes the building, still owned by CP, has a lot of potential. It’s sturdy and large and could have many uses, she says. There’s been talk of converting it into a restaurant, a local museum or community centre.

photo Tom Edwards 1920s
The original Carleton Place Subdivision in 1966-67

Canadian Pacific’s history in Ottawa goes back to the late 1800s, although there isn’t much that the casual observer will see of the railway’s legacy in this city today. However, if you dig deep enough, there are some fascinating hints of Canadian Pacific’s past in Ottawa, including a number of spots where you can spot the old Carleton Place Subdivision, a line that dates back to 1870 when it belonged the broad-gage Canada Central Railway. Let’s go digging. READ here 2020

Clippings from the Train Stations in Carleton Place

Train Station and Bank of Nova Scotia-Old and New

The Mystery Streets of Carleton Place– Where was the First Train Station?

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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