The Railways of Ottawa

Finding No. 21   Railway Structures Destroyed (Mainly) by Fire

Grand Trunk Station at Rideau (near Kingston) Station Burned 13 July 1912.

Kingston Daily British Whig 18 July 1912

Rideau station fire
Two buildings destroyed by spark from locomotive
Rideau station, near Kingston Mills, was on Saturday evening (13/07) completely wiped out by fire, which started about nine o'clock. The blaze started from a spark from a locomotive but was not noticed until about ten o'clock, and then it was too late to do anything towards putting it out. As the locomotive was passing a spark flew out, and as the roof had just been lately shingled and was very dry, it did not take long to put an end to the building. At the place where the fire occurred there are only two buildings, on the blaze spread until both buildings were in flames.
As soon as the fire was noticed, the people living in the vicinity set in to fight it, but as they were handicapped by the lack of water, it did not take long to get beyond control.
The reflection could be plainly seen in the city and some people thought that someplace had been struck by lightning.
The people who had been living at the station moved to the city last week, and so there was no person in the house at the time of the fire.

Libraryand Archives Canada
RG 46 vol. 1529 file 21221 Station at Rideau

27 December 1912 from GTR Requests approval for location and details of station to be erected at Rideau to replace station recently destroyed by fire. To be put at location of former station.
23 January 1913 report from Inspector Clark The old location is not suitable. Should be just west of the Kingston and Ottawa road twenty poles east of old station.
6 March 1913 from GTR. Were prepared to erect a new station at the point recommended by Inspector Clark but did not have enough land. Asked citizens to procure the land, but they were unable to do because Mr. Cunningham, owner of the land on each side of the tracks at that point, declined to sell as he objects to our trains stopping so near to his buildings. It was therefore decided to locate the new station on the old site where there is ample room.
Correspondence whether new station should be further east of point recommended by Inspector Clark.
New location plans files 5 July 1913.
13 June 1913 order 19609 is issued. Approves location of GTR station at Rideau, about 400' east of the Kingston and Ottawa road.
1 November 1913 from GTR Building of the new station will be delayed until the spring but we are proceeding with the expropriation of the land required on account of the erection of the station on a new location. It is our intention to place a coach which will be used during the winter months for the convenience of the public. This coach will be placed a short distance west of the old location.
24 November 1913 matter set down for hearing to hear Cunningham.
16 December 1914 from Inspector ?
I found that the GTR has not yet made any attempt to comply with order 19609. The only accommodation at the present time is an old passenger car set off from the main line at the south side of the tracks where the old station was burned. Passengers getting off here have to use the GTR tracks to walk to the village.
24 December 1914 from GTR Not in a position to know when we will be in a position to construct this station. Our patrons are not being put to any inconvenience as we have installed a coach at this point which is kept heated and looked after by a caretaker.
Board decided to let the matter stand.
17 January 1916 report from Inspector Clark
On Thursday January 13th I found the accommodation to be an old combination car. The baggage end of same supposed to be used for baggage and express, the passenger, not heated used for a waiting room. There is a stove in this but without pipe. Another deplorable condition is that the passenger end of the coach has been used for sleeping quarters for the soldier watchmen or guards in charge of the bridge and Rideau Canal locks which is quite close to this car. The closet is next to the main line and where passengers step onto the steps to enter and leave the car. Needless for me to explain the condition of the ground in close proximity to the steps. The railway company did about one year ago buy a strip of land which I am satisfied was not required to build a station. The station has never been built but should be built without further delay.
1 February 1916 GTR requested to provide proper lavatory accommodation and heating.
11 February 1916 from GTR We have no lavatory at this station and we are arranging to have one built.
6 May 1916 Report from Inspector Clark
Company has secured and fenced off the ground required for new station but has not made a start. GTR has erected a closet near where the passenger cars (sic) stand which is better than allowing the car closet to be used. The car is in fairly good conditions a shelter or waiting room but its location is undesirable as it is too far away from the village.
19 May 1916 from GTR Do not contemplate erecting a new station this year.
27 May 1916 order 25010 time extension. Following complaints that proper station facilities have not been provided at this location, GTR ordered, within one year, to construct and complete the station approved by 19609
4 April 1917 from GTR requests time extension.
3 May 1917 report from Inspector McCaul? Station at Rideau was destroyed by fire sometime during 1912. I inspected May 1. The old passenger coach is still doing duty. I came to the coach at 3.00 p.m. to take the train at 3.10 p.m. It was a cold wet afternoon and our train did not arrive until 5.00 p.m. I could not remain in the coach. I do not believe it had been cleaned in years. There is a very unpleasant odor inside the car. There was no caretaker, no heat nor was there heat on January 28th when passengers were obliged to wait several hours for a train. One passenger as a result of this was obliged to spend three weeks in a Kingston hospital. Recommends that no further extension be granted.
4 May 1917 complaint from Kingsley The humane society would prevent the GTR from treating livestock as we have been treated.
7 May 1917 from Board to GTR Board will grant no further extension.
22 May 1917 from GTR We are arranging to go ahead and are purchasing the necessary material but it will be impossible for us to complete the station before May 27 1917. Asks for a time extension to 1 September 1917.
25 May 1917 from Board to GTR Will grant no further extension and you had better proceed and have the work done as soon as possible. 

Updated 2 November 2021

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