Back into the Public Eye

The Freeman Station was a historic one-storey structure that was moved to a City of Burlington firehall where it sat on a crib for approximately six years. ATA Architects was asked to look at three sites at Spencer Smith Park and consider which would make the most suitable home for the building. ATA was also to assess the possibility of adding washroom facilities that were needed for the park. After renovations, the structure would boast 600 square feet of interior space plus an outdoor deck.

ATA recommended a site at the eastern end of the park adjacent to Lakeshore Road (near Brant Street). In this location, the building would be accessible at the lower park level as well as at street level (by the station’s original ground floor). This would accomplish two goals: the provision of park facilities and a strong potential for adaptive re-use of the building due to its accessibility to Lakeshore Road. At that location there is an existing terrace area that is an extension of the public sidewalk (making it ideally suited for the placement of the building). The station’s covered waiting and baggage area provides excellent views of the park and Lake Ontario. Adjacent stone steps lead down into the park. This active location (along a major transportation corridor) ensures that the Freeman Station returns to the public eye (which is compatible with its original importance to the community and its role in the city’s growth).