Ladysmith Railway Station Open House

About 50 people attended an open house at the Ladysmith Railway Station on July 21Wednesday evening. The purpose of the event, hosted by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society (LDHS), was to familiarise the community with the building so that the best community use(s) for it could be decided. Now the property of the Island Corridor Foundation, the building has been locked and empty since suspension of rail service in 2011.

Quentin Goodbody, President of the LDHS, addressed the gathering and gave background to the initiative. In February of this year a group of volunteers, under the umbrella of the Ladysmith & District Historical Society, approached the Island Corridor Foundation to see if an agreement could be reached to put the heritage building to use. The ICF responded enthusiastically, and a memorandum of understanding was signed under which the LDHS would try to assess the best non-profit community uses of the building, with the potential of a long term lease being available from the ICF for a nominal fee. Since then, the ICF paid for a new roof, and volunteers have worked diligently to bring the building to its current state which allows the community to see its potential. Apart from thanking the volunteers for their efforts, Quentin thanked the Kinsmen and Rotary clubs for generous financial contributions toward building repairs to date and noted that local firms Heart Lake Roofing and Gutter Gator had been contracted to install the new roof and guttering.

Larry Stevenson, CEO of the Island Corridor Foundation, said that he was very pleased that the community had taken the initiative to put the building to use, and was most impressed with the rehabilitation work done to date. He noted that all but two of the stations along the E&N line were currently being put to community use. Aaron Stone, speaking as Mayor of Ladysmith and as Co-Chair of the ICF Board, said that he was excited about the potential for the building to be an important part of Ladysmith’s waterfront development and to be put to community use, and thanked the volunteers for their efforts.

Goodbody noted that a lot of work remains to be done before the building is in a useable state, and that this will require significant investment. He encouraged interested parties to contact the LDHS with ideas and business plans. Those present, were then invited to tour the building, enjoy its authenticity, imagine potential uses, and leave comments. A number of displays were also on view which put the building in historical perspective.

For those that missed the occasion, other viewings of the building may be made by arrangement with the Historical Society or drop in during their regular work parties every Wed from 10 to noon.

Community Feedback is welcome with an email to

Watch Slide Show here!