An old wooden bench that once sat in Ottawa’s former Union train station is being returned to its original location. The Senate of Canada said it has secured the transfer of the artifact from the Canada Science & Technology Museum after some sharp-eyed employees learned it was up for sale.
The bench, once located in the museum’s rail exhibit, was among a list of items the museum put up for sale on Kijiji, deemed surplus stock. Two employees of the property and services directorate at the Senate helped secure the transfer, which the museum agreed to hand over at no cost. The original asking price was $4,000. According to the museum’s director of conservation and collection services, Gordon Perrault, the museum actually owns eight more benches from the train station, which it’s planning to keep.
A bit of background on the old train station. It was opened by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1912 as Ottawa’s central railway station. The Chateau Laurier was built across the street to serve travelers. Interestingly, the June 1912 opening of the Union Station and the hotel wasn’t met with much fanfare, since Grand Trunk Railway general manager Charles Melville Hays had just perished in the Titanic disaster two months previously.
Image source: Canada Science & Technology Museum