Quick facts

Story kiosk location

  • Corner of Mackenzie and Rideau

Important dates

  • (1909 – 1912) During this time, construction of the Grand Trunk Railway Station in the heart of Ottawa took place. In 1920 its operations were taken over by the Canadian government and it was renamed Union Station.


  • No

What happened here?

  • Winston Churchill stepped into the station in 1941 and was met by over 20,000 people. Only a few managed to learn about Elvis Presley’s arrival in 1957 in time to greet him, but they were considerably more excited.

Rest your gaze on the beautiful painting by American artist Richard Rummell which he created in 1911…

…then lift your eyes to take in the same view of Union Station he admired so much. Past and present, the then and the now, meet the eye at the same time.

View of Union Station from the Château Laurier, March 22, 1938 / Library and Archives                                                              Canada / PA-009081

From 1912 until the mid- 1960s, thousands of trains pulled into Ottawa’s Union Station each year, adding to the hustle and bustle of life in the capital.


Construction of Grand Trunk Railway Station Photo: Harmer William Morell. Library and Archives Canada. C-026395

Constructed between 1909 and 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railway Company, the station was taken over by the government of Canada after the Company ran into financial difficulties and further complications arising from the death of its owner on the Titanic. In 1920 it was renamed Union Station.


Union Station Interior, photograph, ©NCC

The Union Station was renowned for its elegant neo-classical decoration. Many famous celebrities got their first glimpse of Ottawa stepping out of the station including Winston Churchill and Elvis Presley.