Ontario Railway Stations
The original Grand Trunk station, built by the Midland Railway, was destroyed by fire in 1916. It was replaced with a far more substantial brick structure built by the GTR (later CN) in 1917.
Passenger service was discontinued in 1996. The building was owned by the city of Orillia until 2019. It was used for assorted government services and also by Ontario Northland as a bus terminal. The Chamber of Commerce was a tenant until 2015 when their lease ended. The station was then sold to a commercial operator. According to the new owners, future plans include a musuem to display railway artifacts, displays on the station's and Orillia's railway history, and also a venue for community events. The station has historical designation.
Information about the former CPR station is confusing. The station was likely built around 1911 when the CPR expanded into Orillia. During 1930s (possibly 1935) it was sold to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 34. The CPR later moved into the CN station which in turn was used as a union station for many years. Ironically, the Chamber of Commerce moved to the second floor as a tenant after their lease in the former CN station expired in 2015.
Although the legion undoubtedly benefits from the much-needed rental income, the aging building is in need of major and costly repairs. It is not known whether the legion can raise sufficient funds to cover those costs.