Today is our sweet sixteenth birthday! LIUNA Station officially opened its doors on May 27, 2000. To celebrate our sixteenth anniversary as a premiere event space for weddings, social events, banquets, galas and corporate engagements, we’d like to share a few facts about LIUNA’s history.
A rich history in Hamilton, Ontario
LIUNA Station is a former train station built in 1930 in the neoclassical style. It was renovated and reopened in 2000 by LIUNA, the Labourers International Union of North America. Its former name was CN Railway James Street North. The last train pulled out of the station in 1992. Now, twenty-four years later, the West Harbour GO Station is our new neighbour on James Street North. You can see our windows peeking out from behind the new construction build in this archive photography from Wikipedia.
There was a reason we chose May 27th, too.
On May 27, 1931 Governor General of Canada the Earl of Bessborough opened the new CN James St. Station in Hamilton.
Fine art and high fashion
Yes, the rumours are true – our drapes in the Grand Central Ballroom are made of genuine Versace couture fabric, imported from Italy and hand-cut by seamstresses to fit our windows.
Also, the majority of the paintings you see in the main lobby of LIUNA Station were donated by Joseph Mancinelli, the Vice President and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada of LIUNA.
The main lobby also hosts several display cases of memorabilia from LIUNA Station’s former life as a train station, including the locomotive bell below, which came from an actual circa 1973 CN locomotive. Occasionally, a guest will courageously ring the bell.
VIP guests, speakers and more
We’ve had some very important guests grace our halls over the years – politicians, dignitaries, celebrities, musicians, sports athletes, scientists, and more! In 2010 we hosted a charity fundraiser with the Andretti racing family, Mario, Michael, and Marco. In 2015 we hosted several JUNO Awards events, including the official welcome kick-off party, and in 2014, right before running for the PMO, (at that time) Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau spoke in our front lobby.
What’s to come? You’ll have come to an event to find out!