Glencoe Station after restoration, 2009. Courtesy of David Ladore.
The Glencoe Grand Trunk Station closed on October 31, 1993 after 139 years of service. There were concerns dating back to 1978 that the building might be demolished. The Glencoe Historical Society had just formed that year and immediately addressed the issue of the future of the station.
Between 1978 and 1993 there were several attempts to buy the station, finally ending in its purchase by the municipality in 1993 for one dollar. The building was boarded up as a protective measure. The following year a committee was formed, reporting to the Historical Society and the municipality, to undertake the restoration of the station. Seven years of volunteer work and fundraising resulted in the re-opening of the building in 2001, becoming a source of pride for the community, a meeting place for organizations and a tourism destination.
Glencoe owed its founding to the Great Western Railway in 1854. Glencoe was a stop on the line that travelled between Niagara Falls and Windsor. The first station was a log structure, replaced in 1856. With increased demand for service, the second station was replaced by a third in 1900 by the Wabash-Grand Trunk Railway, but it was destroyed by fire the following year, as was its replacement. The present station is the sixth to be built. It was constructed in the summer of 1904 in a Queen Anne style.
The interior has a metal ceiling, pine trim and incandescent lighting. There is a separate waiting room for ladies on the east end, and men’s waiting room as well as a baggage room on the west end. The station master’s office is located in the centre in such a way to have a clear view down the tracks.
The station owes its preservation to a handful of dedicated volunteers who saw more than simply a dilapidated structure. This small group convinced several hundreds to contribute the time, expertise and funds required to make an interesting structure dating back to the heyday of passenger travel, a featured attraction in Southwest Middlesex and surrounding area.
The restored station is now viewed daily as well, by many Via Rail passengers who pass through and stop at Glencoe along the busy Toronto to Windsor route.