Opened in 1927 by visiting royalty, Edward, Prince of Wales, this structure was a long time a-building. It was originally planned as the terminal for both the Grand Trunk and Canadian Pacific railway companies (imagine all the planning deliberations going on in that pre-fax, pre-email, pre-con call era), but during the long wait, Grand Trunk went bankrupt (and Downton Abbey fans know what that meant) and CP carried on alone.
|four-storey barrel-vaulted windows
Union Station is the largest and most opulent train station ever built in Canada...a true temple to travel in the days of porters, trunks, fine dining aboard with proper dress for dinner, and docile children.
|notice the rosettes in the window
barrel-vault ceiling coffers
|vault ceiling of Gustavino tiles
It was built in the Beaux Arts style, a style emerging from an architecture school in Paris called (not surprisingly) Ecole des Beaux Arts. The style is characterized by all the right classical elements (arches and barrel vaults, columns, capitals, dentil and egg and dart mouldings), but supersized. Not for the Beaux Arts designer the cool simplicity and restraint of Classical architecture, but a stylish mash-up of Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles, writ large; monumental columns, colonnades, balustrades, and decorative elements. For the sports-minded, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a brilliant example (should anyone be looking).
And should you read and see more, check out Shannon Kyle's architecture site, Ontario Architecture.