Saturday, August 18, 2007

History of CP Rail in the Don

Train crossing the railway bridge next to the Brick Works, c. 1935. The original four smoke stacks with the words Don-Valley-Brick-Works emblazoned are clearly visible. Only the "Valley" smokestack remains standing today. (click to expand the photo, it's kind of grainy)

I came across an article in a local history magazine called "CP Tracks". It is a publication of the Canadian Pacific Historical Association. The article is entitled "The Canadian Pacific Railway in Toronto's Don Valley". It details the history of railways in the Don, specifically on CP railroads. The article is quite fascinating, especially since I'm a secret railway buff. One of my contributions to Wikipedia was the article on the Belt Line Railway. I also wrote Wikipedia articles on the OA&PS, the NS&T, and the H&LBTC.

The author, Derek Boles, claims that the station house now residing at Todmorden Mills was not actually built for the Belt Line Railway. While the Belt Line did have a station at Queen Street, the actual building wasn't constructed until 1896, two years after the Belt Line Railway suspended operations. There are also several archival photos of train operations in the Don including the one above. I like this photo because it also shows the original four smokestacks at the Don Valley Brick Works.

If you're interested in reading the article, you can pick up a copy of the magazine at George's Trains, a local hobby shop on Mount Pleasant and Millwood. A fascinating store on its own - if you're a train lover you could get lost in there or worse yet, drop a couple of thousand dollars on equipment for your own train layout. Fortunately, I was able to extricate myself with only the magazine purchase.

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