What are some of the uses that you would like to see the Ladysmith Railway Station available for? The LDHS wants to hear from you!
On February 18, 2021, the Ladysmith & District Historical Society and the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to give the LDHS a one-year option on the station to explore the potential uses of the Ladysmith Railway Station.
The MOU gives the society a one-year option on the Ladysmith Railway Station. “This will permit the society to initiate a review of how best the building can serve the community’s non-profit sector. Once an acceptable use is defined, the ICF is willing to consider a long-term lease of its property for a nominal fee, this tenure being important for fundraising efforts to support required rehabilitation of the building,” says LDHS President Quentin Goodbody.
“The Island Corridor Foundation believes these historic buildings are part of the communities where they are located, and it is the people of those communities, in concert and consultation with local and First Nations governments, who are in the best position to determine the future use of these buildings. We applaud the LDHS for taking on this initiative and look forward to working with them to bring the station back to life,” says Larry Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer of ICF.
The ICF has undertaken to incur the cost of a new roof during the 2021 calendar year. The historical society is grateful to the ICF for this opportunity.
“It gives us a full year to collaborate with stakeholder groups and community organizations to explore the opportunities associated with Ladysmith Railway Station building,” says Alex Stuart, who, along with Bill Drysdale, is co-chair of the LDHS Train Station Committee.
Although the original E&N Railway Station burned down and was replaced with the current building in the 1940s, there is a lot of history there.
Drysdale, Chuck Forrest and other volunteers have been clearing out the brush, picking up litter and painting the building for the past five years, recognizing the potential value of the vacant station. “We do intend to bring that building back to life,” says Drysdale. A new roof will go a long way towards it being resurrected.
Ladysmith and Courtney are the only vacant stations along the E&N rail line. The stations range in use but have one thing in common — they are not for profit.
What are some of the uses that you would like to see the Ladysmith Railway Station available for? That’s a question the LDHS will be asking a lot this year. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-245-0423.