Authentically preserved mountain-style railway station now a community centre for the arts and live entertainment.
Built in 1908, the former C.P.R. station is the last survivor of a type designed specifically for the Crowsnest Route. Sometime after passenger service was ended in 1964, the station was donated to the City of Fernie and converted into a community arts and crafts centre.
A well-intentioned renovation in 1986 kept the building intact but coloured the exterior a cheerful but historically inappropriate blue. This was partially remedied in 2008 when the original chocolate and cream paint scheme was reapplied. (It’s still not quite right, since some of the siding was incorrectly coated in the maroon of the mid-twentieth century.)
The recent restoration also saw the station’s many windows replaced with technically modern but historically accurate substitutes. While the C.P.R. had a history of demolishing its stations as it abandoned passenger service, this time the railway, under more englightened management, contributed substantially to the cost.
The station is once more the bustling hub of downtown Fernie. Live music and theatre enliven the former baggage room. The Blue Toque is a restaurant. The platform is now a deck where you may enjoy a snack and watch mile-long coal trains on their way from nearby mines to a shipping terminal near Vancouver.