The Woodstock station is one of the more unique stations I’ve found through this project. Among them is the VIA station that serves Woodstock. In addition to the shape and style of the station, it is also interesting that it was built by Grand Trunk but remained under the Great Western Name for the first decade in service and sits today as one of the few remaining Gothic Revival stations in Ontario. And it seems a bit out of place, outside of the downtown and not that close to anything. A rail line through Woodstock had been on the books since 1834 during the earliestRead More →

One such location that gave me a bit of trouble with research is the old Grand Trunk Railway station in Goderich. Sitting next to the rails it once served yet still within sight of the downtown; this old station remains a bit of mystery still today. When it comes to the history of the railroad in Goderich, it is a bit muddy. The railroad first came to Goderich in the form of an idea; economic forces joined with peers from Brantford and Buffalo to build a line that ran between the three locations in response to the lack of commitment from Great Western and GrandRead More →

The location of the first station to serve the town of St. Mary’s is odd for two reasons. The first is the station’s placement at such a distance from the actual town, the second being that it is now surrounded by a modern subdivision. But today, if you are a fan of craft beer, then the Junction station is certainly one you want to put on your list. The original charter of the Grand Trunk Railway said that the operator would construct a line from Toronto to Montreal. Grand Trunk, however, quickly realised that such a line would be of no good and sized upRead More →

I remember the first time I visited the Bridge Street Station in Niagara Falls, not far from the glitz and crowds of the tourist-packed falls area. On a quiet side street off the old downtown of Queen Street, surrounded by run-down buildings, sits one of the last remaining train stations in Ontario that is credited to the Great Western Railway. The importance of the train station in Niagara Falls is thanks to the Niagara Suspension Bridge. The Great Western Railway completed its mainline in 1854 with great fanfare in Hamilton, Ontario, where its main headquarters and rail yard were located. But to cross the NiagaraRead More →

But the town’s position as a tourist destination is relatively recent in the region’s history. While the history of Niagara-On-The-Lake reaches back to the original European settlement of Upper Canada, its connection to the railway also dates back to the early days of the railroad in Ontario. And that is no more shown by a strange-looking coffee shop a little bit off the main street. The presence of the Welland Canal had helped intertwine the communities of the Niagara Region. The growth of agriculture and industry combined with marine traffic had created a network of urban communities. A means to move people quickly between theirRead More →

Sitting as the main building at the Fort Erie Railway Station, the former station that once served the village of Ridgeway is a prime example of Grand Trunk’s plan to modernise the railway at the start of the 20th Century. It is also interesting that a village as small as Ridgeway would warrant such a large station. The railway first came to Ridgeway thanks to Brantford, Hamilton and the Great Western Railway. As a result, the Buffalo, Brantford & Goderich Railway, which eventually became the Buffalo & Lake Huron Railway despite its financial instability through the first half of the 1850s, finally reached Paris, OntarioRead More →

Sitting well outside of the two historical downtowns within the community of Fort Erie sits several lonely buildings and overgrown tracks. These small remains are left of what was once a massive railway yard that had existed since the earliest days of the railway in Fort Erie but is today a mere shadow. The Buffalo & Lake Huron Railway saw inception as a means to provide railway access to the people of Buffalo, Brantford and Goderich; the railways two main terminuses were Fort Erie and Goderich, where cars would be loaded onto massive rail ferries to be floating to destinations across bodies of water, atRead More →

While there are certain stations out there with more interesting histories and stories that go along with them, others have simply done their job and then been disposed of. Oftentimes, that is with a demolition, which has resulted in the loss of many stations across Ontario. And the small community of Bridgeburg has lost a great many stations. Do not worry if you haven’t heard of the community of Bridgeburg. The community owes its existence to the International Railway Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1873. The community’s name has changed a few times before being absorbed into Fort Erie by the 1970s; it hasRead More →

The Niagara River has never been the easiest obstacle to navigate in Ontario, the main reasons being the current, the falls, and the gorge. Bridges were neither cheap nor easy to build but possible. The easiest means to get trains across the river were through the use of rail ferries. Steamships were designed to carry large numbers of cars, but the process was slow, bottlenecked the line, and there was also the tendency for ships to sink or get caught in the current and swept away. All major operators initially used rail ferries, while Buffalo & Lake Huron had the easiest route between Fort ErieRead More →

It’s easy to miss the Freeman Station, tucked in next to a fire station and below a burn. It also seems a bit out of place, with the railroad a good distance from the station proper, almost as if the line itself was moved. But in reality, the station itself has been moved from its original station like so many before. And despite its look, Burlington Junction, as it was officially called, was once a hub of railroad activity in Burlington. During the first railway boom in Ontario, Burlington, as we know it today, did not exist; the modern downtown of Burlington was the villageRead More →