© Copyright ATA Architects Inc.
All rights reserved. 2012
The Hamilton Radial Electric Railway was founded in 1893 when a group of investors purchased an established railway line along Hamilton Beach, and then extended it by building an additional line to connect to downtown Hamilton. By the time Hamilton Radial Electric Railway closed its doors, the rail system reached Brantford, Dundas, Grimsby and Oakville. In 1901, plans were made for the Hamilton Radial Electric Railway would to be extended out to Oakville, the easterly terminal station, where it would meet the Toronto and York lines, to be built west from Port Credit. The Oakville station itself was built in 1906 and single car units operated along the line between Oakville and the major terminal in Hamilton at hourly intervals. This line was an important means of public transit for the communities along that line, and the railway operated until 1929. Oakville Station is the last remaining station of the Hamilton Radial Electric Railway.
The site of the station was for sale for an extended period of time, the main issues being the relatively small size of the building and the need to retain the heritage character of the front section, namely its distinctive canopy. In addition, the building had two separate components: the public rail station and the two-storey repair and workshop portion behind.
When the two key buildings were eventually sold, ATA became involved in both sites. The two new owners knew each other and recognized that the two buildings should be compatible. The rear building was constructed first as a mixed-use building with commercial space at the lowest level and residential units above. The brick and metal panel façade was designed to compliment to the rail station development.
The rail station was rehabilitated, and new wood windows replaced the existing ones. Existing openings that had been blocked up were restored, and the overall exterior of the building was largely restored to its original appearance.
A new third floor was also added above the two-storey section of the building so that the visual integrity of the original public portion of the building was left undisturbed. The new addition was designed in dark metallic panels, to clearly distinguish the new from the old. Not only was the building rehabilitated for sustainable office and residential use, but it also provided spectacular views of the valley across the road and distant views of the lakefront to the south.
Tenants will be moving into the building shortly.