Sunday, August 8, 2010

By Train or Bus

On November 1, 1919 the first train pulled into the brand new Canadian National Railway station. Now it is called Pacific Central Station but, as you will see, it has managed to retain some of the elegance of days past.

The station was busy today even though it is Sunday but I gather it usually has a lot of comings and goings. Besides being home to VIA Rail it is also a bus depot.

When I walked in one of the first things I saw was the clock. There to remind travellers how much time they have before departing.

The ceiling was the next thing that got my attention. So I sat on a bench and leaned back to take a photo.

Everywhere I looked I could see the present mixed with the past. Like the sign for a popular eatery.

Right beside an old style light. The beauty of the past is evident whichever direction I looked in.

It is so elegant that it almost seems criminal to make too much noise in here. And everyone I saw seemed to respectful of each other and the surroundings. Garbage wasn't littering the floor nor is there graffiti on the benches. I didn't check to see if anyone had put used gum under them but somehow I doubt it. This does not seem like a place where you would do that.

I remember watching a movie with Lorenzo Lamas and I didn't realize it was filmed in Vancouver until I saw him running through this station.

Across the street is Thornton Park, named for Sir Henry W. Thornton a US born civil engineer who was President of CN Railway from 1922-1932.
Thornton was a charismatic, flamboyant man who ran CN Rail with style. He relished doing combat with rival railway line CP Rail and brought in many enhancements to CN. Like radio and telephone equipped passenger cars. Unfortunately he also made some very powerful enemies and when the 1929 stock market crash affected the railway line, his enemies found a way to get rid of him. Thornton was forced to resign, stripped of a pension and blackballed from the industry he knew. He died of cancer in 1933. But he had always manage to inspire great loyalty among his employees and that is how he is remembered.

Greeting visitors to the park is Barbora.

This 12 foot stainless steel Lithuanian sculpture represents a woman walking and the wind ruffling her skirts.

Keeping with the female theme are the marble benches and pedestal that are a tribute to the massacre on December 6, 1989 at the University of Montreal. Where a man murdered fourteen women in a fight against feminism.

This would be an ideal place to rest while waiting for your train or bus. A place to enjoy the abundance of nature without straying too far.

Even though it was lightly raining for part of my walk it was a nice experience. I passed a road crew and the guys were joking with one another. One even came over and talked with me for a few minutes. I thought it was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon though I have to tell you. After spending weeks in shorts and sandals it felt so restricting to wear jeans and runners!

I hope you find the beauty that surrounds you.

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  1. Sorry, what I meant was that the building in the photo used to be beside the station that stands today, but was torn down quite some time ago. It's not the current building. Many people don't realize that there were two different railway companies using the flats, and they had their stations side by side. One of them didn't survive I'm afraid.