Ontario Railway Stations
St. Marys Junction
The first station in St. Marys was built in 1858 for the GTR (later CN) by Gzowski and Company. The land was purchased from David Glass who was mayor of London at the time. Shortly after the purchase, the GTR gained speedy access to London which was already served by its major rival, the GWR.
Many of the GTR's early problems were tied to cozy political relationships such as this. The Glass land was in an awkward location north of the town site and far from the important commercial areas. The community was angry and bitter towards the railway for many years.
The station contained a ticket area, luggage room, and separate waiting rooms for the ladies and gents. That was customary during the period when excessive public inebriation by members of the male gender was considered a virtue. The railways, conscious of their public image, felt it necessary to protect the women from rowdiness and possible harm. It is believed Thomas Edison may have worked in the station for a brief period as a telegrapher.
In 1907 the GTR decided to make peace with the local citizenry by building a new station close to the centre of town.
The first station was renamed St. Mary's Junction and remained in use by CN until 1941. In 1973 it received historical designation as one of the few surviving stone stations. It is currently owned by the town. The second station was similarly honored for other reasons in 1987.
The exterior of St. Mary's Junction has been restored but the interior still requires considerable work. These photos were taken during one of the rare occasions when the station was open to the public.