By Sue Tiffin
Long a beloved landmark in the town of Kinmount, the former Kinmount Railway Station is now getting accolades as a 2020 Queen’s Park Pick.
Nearly 30 MPPs nominated their favourite buildings in their ridings across Ontario, in regions spreading from the Detroit River to James Bay, for the fifth celebration of Ontario’s architectural culture, organized by the Ontario Association of Architects. Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott nominated the Kinmount train station, which was completed in 1876 and is now home to the Kinmount Heritage Model Railway and Museum.
“There are so many outstanding pieces of architecture around Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock that make our small towns so unique,” Scott told the Times. “The Kinmount Railway Station is especially important to me as it’s in my own community. I have lots of family memories that were central to the rail- way station and it is also a reflection of how our community was founded and how we were all connected.”
The Kinmount Railway Station was one of nine projects selected as a 2020 Queen’s Park Pick under the theme “Toward a Better Urban Future,” which Scott said she was thrilled about.
“The railway station is one of the buildings that has stood the test of time in our community, surviving floods and the great fire of 1942, it’s important that we honour these historic monuments that represent the beginning of our town,” she said.
The building has long been an important one to the community, including Scott’s family.
“The Kinmount Railway Station brought the Scott family to Kinmount in 1877 and provided employment opportunities for our family for generations,” she said. “The railway truly was the lifeline of Kinmount in its time and was how our community members stayed connected or just went to neighbouring towns to play hockey games. In its beginning, the 109th Battalion used the train station during World War One and my grandfather and brother rode on the last passenger train from Kinmount to Bancroft in the 1960s.” Scott said working for the railway was considered to be one of the best jobs in the community because of Robert Bennett Blair, who was the station agent from 1933 to 1956. “My uncle had the opportunity to be trained by Bob in the 1950s in several areas including Morse code and he continued on his career due to this well-respected teacher
in the community,” she said. Nowadays, the station building, which includes the model railway and historical research centre, sits on park property next to the river, a focal point for the town.
“The railway station is now a visitor’s centre with local artifacts maintained by local enthusiasts and a reminder of how our community began,” said Scott. “It’s important to remember not only the economic purposes of the railway, but also the connectivity it provided to people outside the community as we have realized this year especially, is so important. Whether it was going to work, trans- porting goods, or meeting up with friends to watch a hockey game in a neighbouring town, the railway station was and still is a community hub for all its residents.”
Besides the Kinmount Railway Station nominated by Scott, the nominations selected for the Queen’s Park Picks online exhibit are the Cabbagetown neighbourhood in Toronto; No. 11 McIntyre Headframe in Timmins; Beaver Barracks in Ottawa; Capitol Theatre in Windsor; 1855 BDO Whitby Accelerator in Whitby; The Bentway in Toronto; Walkerton Clean Water Centre and MacDonald Hall in Guelph.
For more information about the 2020 Queen’s Park Picks visit: https://oaa.on.ca/ Queens-Park-Picks.