You can’t do everything yourself, and the restoration of the Annapolis Royal Train Station would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of the Town of Annapolis Royal, specifically Amery Boyer, then the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer, and Kevin McLean, the Supervisor of Public Works.
Ms. Boyer worked tirelessly on behalf of the Town and Mrs. Nicholson Inc. to secure the station property from its owner, Canadian Pacific, a process that took almost three years. At the end of that time, the Town severed the station from its newly acquired property and I was able to take ownership of my portion of the original CPR lands and begin the restoration.
Kevin McLean worked with me on the water issues, which seemed hopeless at times, and was an early and energetic believer in the project. He is still willing to get down on his knees to look down a sewer manhole, and for that I am grateful.
I am also grateful to Donnie Brown and his team from Brown Bros. Excavating, who worked so long on the drainage problems and finally solved them.
In addition to support from the Town, Mrs. Nicholson Inc. was the recipient of a small grant through the Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund (CHPIF), a program through the National Historic Sites Directorate of Parks Canada. Sadly, this program, which provided funding to help private developers restore commercial heritage buildings, was cancelled by the Conservative Government and has not been replaced.
I wish to thank program officer Audrey Levesque and restoration architect James Ashby for their help and encouragement with the CHPIF grant application process.
The Annapolis Royal Train Station is a municipally and provincially listed heritage building, and, since 1992, has been a designated heritage railway station through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Its restoration was a winner of a 2006 Annapolis Royal Buildings Award in the category of “adaptive re-use of a non-residential building”. In 2008, the station project won the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia award for excellence in commercial heritage preservation.