By Donna Reid
Summertime….picking up the LIUNA Station car share gives me time to walk through Immigration Square and admire one of Hamilton’s National Historic sites, the former CN Railway Station. Never tire of the view” Facebook post August 2022
Situated on the East side of James Street North, at the corner of Murray Street East, is LIUNA Station. Opened in 2000, as an event and conference space, this building began life as the Canadian National Railway Station. It was the gateway to Hamilton for many families, from around the world, beginning new lives here.
Built during the Great Depression in 1929 to 1931, in the Beaux Arts architectural style, the station was at risk of demolition for many years. All rail service to the CN Station ended when GO Transit and VIA Rail stopped rail service in 1993.
The building was abandoned and mostly unused except for the occasional film shoot and tactical training (inside!) for police services.
The Labourer’s International Union of North America purchased and restored the building. LIUNA transformed the small parkette out front into Immigration Square. Along with a working fountain, and garden beds, statues and commemorative statues celebrate the history of the neighbouring community and this architectural landmark.