A team of dedicated volunteers is continuing its work towards restoring Burlington’s Freeman Station to its original glory.
Built in 1906 for the Grand Trunk Railway, the historic station that holds a fond place in the hearts of many residents now needs the community’s help.
With the goal of officially opening the station to mark Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017, volunteers, monetary donations and donations-in-kind are needed.
The Friends of Freeman Station, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the station, is leading the charge. It is planning to launch a fundraising campaign this fall.
This summer and fall, the focus of the work at the station is pouring the floor for the basement, as well as repairing and refinishing the waiting room and station master’s office. A new roof has also been installed. This year, the group is also hoping to complete interior wiring, interior walls and insulation, gas service/energy, repair windows and replace the doors, and find a sewer hookup.
Once complete in 2017, the upstairs area will serve as a museum with interactive displays. It will also serve as a meeting space, which is expected to appeal particularly to non-profit groups.
Brian Aasgaard, president of the board of directors for Friends of Freeman Station, says the project is a labour of love for the volunteers and donors – some of whom have a connection to the station, whether it was sitting in the waiting room for a delivery or pick up, or simply watching the trains come and go.
Currently, about half of the $500,000 has been raised for the project. There are many ways to give – whether cash, in-kind or by sponsoring a stone on the base of the building for $100 each. The group is also seeking sponsorship for the platform (deck) for the front of the station.
Volunteers of all skill levels are also invited to come help with repairs and construction. There are shifts available during the week, as well as on special weekend work days. The station is located on Fairview Street, just east of Maple Avenue.
Friends of Freeman Station is also asking the community for artifacts of the station, as well as stories of memories of the station, that can be part of the exhibit in the historic building.For information or to get involved as a volunteer or donor, call Brian Aasgaard at 905-334-0272 or visit www.freemanstation.ca.