Rebuild of the Freeman station is coming along nicely - they still need help with a lot of the work. Get in on it now - when this thing is done it will be something to be able to say you were a part of.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 5, 2015


Dates for people who know how to handle a hammer or are comfortable just tidying up a small construction site and have some time to pitch in and take the Freeman Station to the next level are Saturdays August 8th 15th & 22nd from 8 am to 2pm

The volunteers will get a personally guided tour of the station and a close up view of some of the artifacts that have been donated.
Activities (no special skills required)

• Paint scraping and sanding
• Old wood floor boards restoration
• Site cleanup
• Rubbish and scrub removal
• And the list goes on

If you decide to show up – wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves and a hat. It could be hot!  This is a construction site so please do NOT bring children under 14 and NO pets.

FoF station master office + mural wall

This is the windows in the Station Master’s office which was also the ticket selling room. The space at the far end is where the mural will be done.

What’s New and Exciting!
It has been a very busy winter and spring. Interior restoration went on throughout the winter months and both interior and exterior work resumed this spring. The Burlington Public Art Council has selected the Freeman Station for a mural that will be installed on the east end of the wall facing Fairview Street. It will depict a scene from the station, circa 1906. We are extremely honored to have been chosen and we are looking forward to a late fall unveiling.

FoF ceiling - 2

The ceiling in the waiting room is the kind of thing they don’t build anymore. It will be restored to what it looked like in 1906.

We are delighted to announce that Darren Sanger-Smith of Structured Creations has volunteered his expertise to help us complete this project. He will assist in selecting the materials and finishes to replicate the original station to the best of our abilities.

Some of the highlights of our accomplishments to date are:

• the station now has new shingles; the roof and the entire roof deck have been repaired as well as the soffit and fascia. Roofing was installed by Desi’s Roofing
• electrical service has finally reached the station and we are currently installing the wiring under the guidance of L. Potvin Electrical with supplies from Gerrie Electric
• roughed in plumbing has been installed and the main floor handicapped accessible washroom has been framed. Plumbing was installed by KP&H Mechanical
• new entrance doors have been installed at both the north and south sides of the waiting room

But there is still a lot of work to be done – and work gets done by workers.

Looks like a good deal as fire wood.

The station sat on wooden pilings for the longest time – it wasn’t until Ashland, a company right next door stepped up and made space available.

It took the Friends of Freeman station a couple of years to actually save the station – the city wasn’t able to use the federal funds they were given to move the building, the then Burlington Art Centre didn’t want it; an idea to set it up along Lakeshore Road in the downtown core wouldn’t fly.

The sense many people had was city council just didn’t want the thing. The engineering department staff said the thing was going to just fall over real soon.

It took joint efforts by Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster to convince council to give the volunteer committees a little more time to find a home.

The sign will tell you where the station is going to sit - and that's a step forward.  Next step - getting the Joint Venture Agreement with the city in place.

Ashland made the space available – then the company got bought by a large conglomerate – the deal is still in place – but it isn’t a twenty year lease. The Friends of Freeman will have to develop a really strong bond with the new owners.

While the building really belongs in the Beachway Park that wasn’t on – but a home was found on a piece of property next to the fire station on Fairview.

The building was moved the coupled of hundred yards to its new location, a foundation was put under the building and work on the roof and the outside walls began.

What you see today – while far from complete – is some distance from what was in place two years ago when it was a pile of rotting wood sitting on wooden pilings.

FoF station masters office

The grill for the ticket counter has been found – it wasn’t part of the original station but does come from the same period.

FoF basement

The floor for the basement will be poured very soon. The hope is that negotiations with a model railway club will work out and that there will something for people to watch. That would make the Freeman Station a very attractive destination

Help to complete the restoration of this beautiful old 1906 Grand Trunk Railway Station is now needed.  The vision is to develop an interactive railway display depicting the impact the railway had on the development of Burlington. The Station will also house a model railway and meeting room for public use.

The Friends of Freeman have raised about $250,000 dollars to date and will need about the same amount to complete the project. Over 1700 volunteer hours have been donated to the actual restoration. More than 2400 hours of administrative, planning, and fundraising have also been donated by our members.

We are looking for volunteers in the following areas and there are many opportunities to participate!

• Fundraising
• Research
• Newsletter
• Artifact recording
• Audio Visual and Interactive display planning
• Artwork
• Copywriting and Advertising
• Finance
• Carpentry
• Painting
• General Help with both administration and on site.

Interested in Becoming a Member?
Annual Membership is $10.00, a Life Time Membership $100.00 Please contact us at:  Our website

You can send a cheque to; Friends of Freeman Station, P.O. Box 91536 Roseland Plaza, 3025 New Street, Burlington ON L7R 4L6

There are still naming rights opportunities. Wiser commercial WORDS will realize that the Friends of Freeman Station are actually going to pull this off – and when the place is officially opened – all the politicians that failed to help make it happen will be there to cut the ribbon.

FoF Mello with stone

John Mello wants to see you one of those stones – and he will tell you why they are worth the $100 asking price.

Naming Rights
Put your name, a relative, a friend’s on one of the many items available for sponsorship. Sponsor a Whinstone (What is a Whinstone? Drop by and you can touch one and find out where they came from).

Sponsorships start at $100.00 and you can go right on up to $15,000 for the waiting room. Please contact me for sponsorship opportunities.

If you decide you want to show up on either the 8thj, the 15th or the 22nd – the address is 1285 Fairview Street – next to the fire station which is undergoing a major renovation. Use driveway on east side of the Burlington Fire Department Headquarters

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2 comments to Rebuild of the Freeman station is coming along nicely – they still need help with a lot of the work. Get in on it now – when this thing is done it will be something to be able to say you were a part of.