Unionville and Markham (Ontario) Train Stations

These two late nineteenth century small town train stations, just north and a little east of Toronto, have been lovingly restored. According to their respective local heritage boards, accurately restored to reflect the periods they were built in. Markham is still, at least in part, a train station, the bulk of it being a community centre. Unionville Station has been put to some other use. I’m not sure sure what.

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As much as I like the way the letters wrap around the texture of the siding, I think that in reality the station name signs would have been painted on boards in a shop. It would have been easier (and much cheaper) to have stations’ signs painted en mass in a centralized shop than to send a sign painter out to each site. These buildings were generally prefabricated and shipped (by rail, conveniently enough) to their locations.

I could be wrong about that of course. Quite possibly, there are all kinds of photos of these buildings with signs painted the way they are here, and that’s why they were painted the way they were painted. (If this is the case and someone has copies, I would love to see them: russ(dot)mcg(at)gmail(dot)com. I respect all copyrights and publish nothing with out permission) The purpose of this blog is not to offer history lessons. Especially on things I know little about, although I am interested in process, and if I learn more about this, I will post an update. I’m not here to take issue with how the work was done – Whether it is historically accurate or not, or if it’s even well done or not. Just to take note of the fact that is was done. Sometimes the accidents and mistakes of an enthusiastic amateur are more interesting than a perfectly executed example of sign painting. At least for the purposes of this blog. Now, I’m rambling.

If you are ever in Unionville or Markham, it is worth checking these stations out. It is great that they have been preserved. Their main streets are both have a very nice “ye olde” charm and character and lots of very nice signage to observe, although, to be honest, most of it is far too nice and new to make it into this blog.

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