Heritage value of the Grand Trunk Railway or ‘Cooper Site’ has been recognized in several reports to the City. Most significant among these was the Borgal Report stating the repair shop building was structurally sound and that the site met all requirements to merit heritage status. Unique in North America for the nature of its design and purpose, once housing cranes that lifted entire steam locomotives high above the shop floor, the railway shop building erected in 1907 was an engineering achievement that could be said to rival that of the Eiffel Tower which has served as an iconic tourist attraction in Paris since 1889.
The Cooper Site could easily become a viable heritage and revenue producing asset for the city once more. Solar panels on the roof, interior parking, and space for occupants, all might generate significant revenue. It would take very few years to recover the cost to rehabilitate and maintain the structure. for the city. For an in-depth look at what might be possible, go to the site re-development proposal put forward by Thor Dingman at the website for the Stratford-Perth County Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.
For these reasons and more, the Stratford Perth Heritage Foundation has requested that all or part of the shop building on the Cooper site should be granted a heritage designation and that the three easterly bays be retained to display a steam locomotive that would serve to commemorate the role played by railways for more than 100 years in the history of Stratford. We invite you to join us in this appeal.