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Victoria's iconic rail station finds new life as shelter

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority president Curtis Grad unveiled the renovated E&N rail station, which will now serve as a shelter at Odgen Point. - Drew McLachlan/News staff
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority president Curtis Grad unveiled the renovated E&N rail station, which will now serve as a shelter at Odgen Point.
— image credit: Drew McLachlan/News staff

Despite Via Rail ending service on Vancouver Island in 2011, Victoria’s E&N rail station has found a new purpose at Ogden Point.

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority unveiled the refurbished structure last Thursday, which features a restored cedar shingle roof as well as a set of salvaged pedestrian posts.The iconic roof is set on a steel frame and will serve as a shelter for tourists waiting to board cruise or whale watching ships.

The station was originally constructed in the mid-1980s to serve the Victoria-Courtenay route. Despite its young age, GVHA president and CEO Curtis Grad said the station still contains a factor of nostalgia.

“An iconic structure can be important in defining a city, regardless of age,” he said. “Lots of people miss the rail, and had we not been able to save (the station) there would have been a lot of regret.”

GVHA purchased the building for $1 in 2011, after the city announced it would need to be removed due to renovations being planned for the Johnson Street Bridge. Reconstruction began earlier this summer, after GVHA secured the new location.

reporter@vicnews.com

 

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