Duncan Train Station

Duncan, C.-B

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All aboard! The Duncan Train Station needs your help! This iconic landmark desperately needs TLC to preserve a national historic site, protect treasures housed in the museum and save the environment.

Why vote for us?

As winners of the Next Great Save competition, we could put the Duncan Train Station back on track.

How? Phase 1 will replace the archaic systems with efficient heat pumps.

Phase 2 will upgrade the insulation and restore existing windows. RDH Building Science stated these changes will mean a 73% savings in energy use and a 74% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. That would contribute to saving the 111-year-old train station, the artifacts, and create a greener environment.

That’s just a start! The next phase of our project will address the deterioration that has happened over time to the exterior of the building. We have a plan to restore the train station to its former glory! That includes the repair and painting of the original wood siding, rebuilding the brick chimneys, the repair and painting of doors, and the repair of gutters and downspouts (water is currently destroying the fascia).

Community impact

While the station is in Duncan, it serves the Cowichan Valley, located on southern Vancouver Island. The train station and museum are tourist attractions that provide economic benefits to the area. During the summer months the museum operates a satellite tourist information centre that delivers information about points of interest in the local area and on Vancouver Island. During the summer of 2022, the museum welcomed over 8000 visitors, some from the Cowichan Valley plus International travelers!

The Cowichan Valley Museum hosts special occasions, such as Remembrance Day, and helps community organizations celebrate landmark anniversaries. People streamed into the museum after the 2022 Remembrance Day service to see an exhibit about WWI from the Royal BC Museum. The museum houses displays featuring the diverse population of the Cowichan Valley; traveling exhibits bring information and visitors to the train station.

The museum is home to education and outreach programs. School programs help students learn about the history of the Cowichan Valley.

About this place

Duncan almost didn’t come to be! R. Dunsmuir, the E&N railway builder, planned to put the station north of here. The locals rallied and convinced Dunsmuir and Prime Minister Macdonald to build the train station in its current location. The station, known as Duncan’s Crossing, was born in 1887. The city flourished because of the station, and businesses (banks, prestigious hotels, a creamery and other stores) and churches moved to Duncan. The original station quickly outgrew its capacity; it was replaced by the current station in 1912. The second floor was home to the station master and his family. For years the railway was an essential service for agriculture, mining, forestry, and passengers. Soldiers during WWI and WWII said their goodbyes on the platform. Passenger service declined as more people used automobiles, but freight service continued. The Duncan Train Station evolved with the times, and became the Cowichan Valley Museum in 1989. Today, the station remains a landmark building in downtown Duncan. It is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, and importantly remains in its original location. It is essential that this special place gets the TLC it deserves!

La société Assurances Ecclésiastiques tient profondément à répondre aux besoins d’organisations qui enrichissent la vie des autres; à préserver les communautés, les cultures et l’histoire distinctes du Canada; et à appuyer des initiatives qui aident à améliorer la vie de personnes dans le besoin. La Fiducie nationale du Canada a une relation de longue date avec Assurances Ecclésiastiques, son plus fidèle commanditaire. Nous sommes emballés de travailler avec eux pour aider à financer le prochain BEAU SAUVETAGE!


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