Friday 18 December 2020

Modelling the Whig-Standard Warehouse

Since I added the National Grocers warehouse to my Hanley Spur layout, I'd thought of adding the Whig-Standard newsprint warehouse. There were only two limitations - I didn't know where it was and I didn't know what it looked like! I assumed it was the long, low annex located behind the CP car and the CN one spotted at National Grocers in this 1970 photo. This is along Rideau Street, south of Cataraqui Street.

That turned out to be a misapprehension on my part, once Scott Haskill emailed this photo:
What a huge wow factor! Not only does it show a car spotted there, it actually shows the warehouse, and to boot, Scott photographed the scene on April 23, 1986! This is one year or so after I assumed regular service ended on the remaining CN Hanley Spur. (Black roadbed at left shows CP's Kingston Subdivision to be gone. As well, CN's spur rails are still shiny! Lettering on the Whig warehouse door says The Whig Standard, the lower lettering perhaps saying 'Newsprint Warehouse'? In the mid-seventies, the Whig was receiving 250 tons of newsprint per month from Domtar and MacLaren mills in Quebec. This warehouse was built sometime between 1970 and 1978, based on Snapshot Kingston aerial photos. Scott sent some more photos - watch for an upcoming post. Receiving this photo from Scott sent me into a scurrying scratch-building frenzy! Current newsprint loading guidelines. 

From the City of Kingston's Snapshot Kingston map site, this 1984 air photo shows a CN boxcar spotted at the Whig warehouse (National Grocers building at top of photo, CN track visible though not CP:
Here's the registration notice by the rowing club, published in the Whig on June 14, 1977, showing that the warehouse was already built:
Developer and rower John Armitage contributed this memory: In the spring of 1977, Michael Davies allowed the fledgling Kingston Rowing Club to store its boats there. Normally we walked them down the alleyway, turned right on Cataraqui Street and launched at Orchard Street park. One day paper rolls blocked our exit so we improvised. We ended up going through the overhead doors, in one side of the railway car out the other side of the railway car and down the water. Later, the club moved to a permanent clubhouse waterside.

Dimensions of the warehouse: Butler steel building with burnished gold siding, 40x120 feet, with a 10x12 roll-up door trackside, and a 10x10 roll-up door facing north at the end of a lane off Cataraqui Street, for truck loading. I'm guessing the warehouse construction took place in 1976.
The yellowish steel warehouse can be seen in this photo that I took earlier this year (above), whereas the National Grocers annex is visible (above) and loading door detail (below, looking north to National Grocers). The CN/CP roadbed is used for auto access, and I haven't walked down far enough to see that Whig warehouse - because I didn't know that's what it was - but I will!
I'd shinnied up to an open window to take a photo inside the annex - now used for robotics training and other uses - nice and clean, not grungy at all!

April 2022 UPDATE: I snapped a few photos of the warehouse, from the trackside then the lane off Cataraqui Street: 

I had to keep in mind the space available, about 10 inches between the (non-prototypically) curved NG/Whig spur and the layout edge.
I decided to use the ever-popular Pikestuff warehouse pieces - prototypically used as a backdrop on my Vermont layout. I would use the Pola factory as the annex, and printed doors for the warehouse:
I didn't have the width of the prototype, so I altered the structure with a transverse peak. A warehouse roll-up door is in each end. The siding is painted mustard-yellow and weathered:
The top photo shows the printed roll-up door. I've left the building reversible, with no door in the other end and may include an interior in future. Stand-in newsprint rolls are on the pavement. In place on the layout with National Grocers at left and the Woolen Mill smokestack in background:
Trackside view along CN with the NG/Whig spur at left, with CP boxcar spotted:
Looking the opposite direction, with the CP boxcar moved out of the way. The Pola annex links the two industries:
The dumpster-in-the-bushes broadside view of the Whig warehouse:


  1. Ah my old friend John Armitage! I've known him for years. Wonderful man, and certainly a resource for the history of the Kingston Rowing Club!

  2. None other, Brian! I've read about his initiatives in the Whig, but haven't met him. These human histories would certainly add to my understanding of the Hanley Spur's history!

    Thanks for your comment,


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