About Us - Lake Louise Railway Station History
Lake Louise Sation is part of a legacy left by people who gave Canada life--visionary politicians, ambitious railway businessmen, dedicated railway workers, indefatigable labourers, and ordinary folk who relied on the railway to build lives, businesses, and families. The Lake Louise Railway Station is the child of an 1871 promise. The promise of a coast-to-coast railway lead to the building of the Station, brought British Columbia into Confederation, and cemented Canada into a continent-wide nation.
Prior to 1885, Lake Louise was known as “Holt City” and then “Laggan.” Smaller buildings then serviced passengers until 1909, when burgeoning tourism dictated a larger building. In 1910, the CPR built the current buildings and in 1914 the station name was changed to Lake Louise. By then, the Station was already serving a steady stream of travelers passing through and stopping at the CPR’s Lake Louise resort. The Station building served passengers for 80 years, being removed from service in 1990.
In 1991 CP Rail’s Mike Stroik granted Laggan Developments Ltd. permission to operate a small 21-seat café in the building. Although the operators had changed, operations remained much as they’d been since the early 1900s. Many of the menu items were prepared on an outdoor grille and wood-burning stove.
In 1993, three business-people who saw the Lake Louise Station as an integral part of Canadian history spent their own money, raised funds from others, obtained the necessary approvals, and set out to restore the building to its form during the glory days of Canada's infancy. Laggan Developments used the funds to restore the building, update crucial infrastructure, and restore the grounds to their turn-of-the-century ambience.
The Lake Louise Station remains one of the original sentinels along the railway that joined our country together. We hope to continue the historic Lake Louise Station tradition in memories, stories, and in the original building for many, many years to come.
So, like the many travellers who stopped at Holt City, Laggan, and Lake Louise to slake their thirst, enjoy a good meal, and breathe in the wilderness atmosphere, we hope you enjoy your stay. Walk the grounds and enjoy the gardens, which we maintain in the same style as when the Station was new. You don’t have to imagine what it was like in 1910 to walk through the Station garden, its grounds with the surrounding mountains, trees, and dramatic sky.
We're proud to be here maintaining just a tiny bit of Canada's fabric. Come to Lake Louise and join us for a while.
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Except where noted, website & photographs by Kerry Lange
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