Volunteer Saturday: final preparations for Canada Day ribbon cutting

Sat June 24 — The restoration efforts and “painting parties” conclude.  Volunteer carpenters and painters have done a great job!  Now wrapup preparations will continue for Canada Day/Canada 150 — come and join us at the 11 AM July 1st ribbon cutting ceremony!  (Parking on site; plan to arrive by 10:45.)  Then “tour” through the Station to see the renovations — you will be amazed!


Mark your calendar: 2017 FOFS upcoming events

2017 will be a busy one for the volunteers of Friends of Freeman Station as we continue our efforts to restore the Burlington Junction Station to its former glory.  Here are some events* in which you may want to take part…

Volunteer work days – will resume on Saturdays as the weather warms.  There’ll be a need for several painting parties, both exterior and interior painting to be undertaken, and continued carpentry and myriad other tasks to be done to get ready for “opening day.”   These are typically organized as Saturday events, but if you are available thru the week, that’ll work as well… this Winter, being mild, we’ve worked on Mondays, Wednesdays, and even some Fridays, with great progress both outside and inside.  Please let us know if you can help.

1 July – Canada Day and Canada 150.  A dedication ceremony at the Station with visiting dignitaries at 11 AM, and FOFS members and friends invited to come past from then on into the afternoon to see our progress over the past few months.

7 August – Joseph Brant Day, LaSalle Park.  Friends of Freeman Station will again be present with a display.  Volunteer staff greeters needed.

30 September – Doors Open Burlington.  The Burlington Junction Station will be open to the public.  Stay tuned for exciting details!

3 December – Burlington Santa Claus Parade.

* (Subject to change as time goes on.)


Are you receiving our emails?

Friends of Freeman Station (FOFS) frequently sends emails — typically, a couple of times a month — to our members and friends to update you on Station restoration progress and related happenings.   Some volunteers have indicated they’re not receiving these.  If you haven’t been hearing from us by email, and you’d like to, please click here to send us a note  ( and that’ll provide us with your email address so we can double-check that we have it.

We believe that emails are a crucial and cost-effective way for Friends of Freeman Station, a non-profit organisation operating on a very limited budget, to stay in touch with our volunteers and supporters like you. 


Help us apply for a Neighbourhood Matching Fund grant

One requirement is that we provide indications of support from our “community” — the more, the better.
We are proposing certain landscape improvements to be accomplished in time for Canada Day / Canada 150 including the construction of portable standing and display modules.  Their purpose is to enhance walkability and safety around the exterior of the Station, and to provide “bumping areas” near entrances and exits and the Claire Hall mural where visitors will gather.
Your responses will make the difference in gaining the funding approval we need.

Volunteers needed! Please consider helping…

As you know, the Friends of Freeman Station is (are?) a 100% volunteer group engaged in the rewarding endeavor of relocating, preserving and restoring the historic Burlington Junction railway station. The 1906 building was slated for demolition until FOFS ( Friends of Freeman Station) was formed to save it.

To date, more than 4,500 hours of volunteer labour have gone into the project, and some $ 390,000 in cash and corporate/ private donations has been raised. On the Station’s Lower Level, we’re planning to install a computer-driven, museum-quality interactive diorama depicting life in the hamlet of Freeman, which is now part of Burlington, in the early Twentieth Century.

We’ve a tonne of things to do in 2017 to get ready for Canada Day and Canada 150!  So we need your help…

We’re looking for volunteers to join the building restoration project and/or the diorama construction project. Depending on your interests, there are many opportunities for you to get involved in this historic legacy.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Curriculum development- writing teacher material for class visits

  • Bricklaying and carpentry

  • Accounting – simple, spread sheet, income & expenditures

  • Photography – amateur (digital!)

  • Computer – correspondence, spreadsheet data input and management

  • Web site – assistant Web master using WordPress (we’ll teach you)

  • Email database – adding/editing contact information

  • Gardening – grounds maintenance, flower beds, mowing, weeding

  • Community relations – arranging and staffing public appearance events

  • Publicity – news stories and media relations

  • Model railroading – garden scale design, layout, and operation

  • Steam boiler certification – live steam locomotive operation

  • Videography – video documentation and editing

  • Artistry – scene and mural painting

  • Docents – volunteer staffing to receive and brief the public

  • Artifact management – logging, documenting, photographing, data entry

To any extent that you can help, please email us — — and let us know your interest.


2017: Time to renew your FOFS membership

If you have not already done so, please take a moment to renew your FOFS membership for 2017.  Dues are only $ 20 annually ($ 100 Lifetime) and can be remitted here on the Web site via PayPal or credit card, or by sending a cheque to Friends of Freeman Station, 3023 New Street, P.O. Box 91536 Roseland Plaza, Burlington, ON L7R 4L6.  Thank you!


We’re seeking volunteer teachers for an educational project

We’d like to identify teachers, both retired and active, who could volunteer to participate in a pilot project to develop an educational package for use by teachers in the schools prior to a Freeman Station field trip.

The content would eventually include modules geared to various grade levels and in a number of subject areas, possibly including

    • transportation and the little-known role that modern railways play in the delivery of goods and commodities to Canadian consumers,
    • history, including the role of railways in uniting the country commencing with the British North American Act of Confederation in 1867
    • agriculture,
    • science and technology,
    • village life in the early Twentieth Century.

If you would like to learn more, please click here to send us an )


“Families of Freeman” section now up on the Web site

We’ve been working with local families to capture their stories  about life in the village of Freeman and early Burlington.  The first of these are now published under the “Families of Freeman/Stories” link above (or click here) and include “A.D. McMillan, Fruit and Vegetable Grower,” “Memories of Freeman,” “The Freeman Family and the village of Freeman,” “The Smith Family (Smith’s Funeral Home),” and the life story of “Theo Bullock.”  There are many more family histories and anecdotes which could be added to this collection, and we’d very much like to hear from you, to add your family’s memories.  Just drop us a note to and we’ll work out the details.


The Whinstones have now been re-installed…

Christmas came early to the Station, as the masons from Thorstone — including Joel Thorstone and his staff — Colin, Mark and Mitchell — have now completed the work of re-installing the Whinstone facade across the front of the Station.  Work proceeded notwithstanding the cold weather and they finished in five days.  Beautiful job, guys.  We are thrilled to see the result!


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Joel Thorstone and crew on a well-deserved coffee break

Video by Kevin Davies; photography by Bob Chambers, Bob Miller, Nikki Wesley, John Mellow, Joel Waterman, Denny Williams, Alan Harrington, Al Pettman and others (by permission)