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 →

Doors Open Hamilton has been a long time favourite event since I went to my first event in 2007. It gives a behind-the-door look at many buildings through legal means, which is a huge draw for a group of explorers. One of the biggest draws of that 2007 event is the presence of the HMCS Halifax, one of the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigates and the first ship in the class. We also got glimpses of buildings that were undergoing renovation. It also quickly became a bit of a birthday tradition as it always falls near or sometimes on my birthday. But for the past twoRead 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 →

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 →

In about three decades, the railway in Ontario had grown from a small collection of operators to the principal means of moving people and cargo around the Province and, by extension, Canada. But the one thing that it still lacked was a complete link across the entire length of British North America. While some efforts had been made in 1873, the resulting scandal ousted the MacDonald conservatives, and the new Liberal Government made some efforts to start the construction in 1875. Despite completing 1,000 kilometres of track by the time they were voted out in 1878, not enough had been done. MacDonald returned to power,Read More →

Like Ontario, Simcoe & Huron, unless you’re a hardcore railroad history fan, you may have never heard of the Great Western Railroad. If you commute between Hamilton and Toronto on the GO Train, you’ve ridden on the part of the original line for Great Western. Their stations are still in use around the province, and yet the name is long lost to history. Great Western Railroad got its start in 1834 as the London & Gore Railway to build a railway between the city of London and the city of Hamilton. Even in 1834, Sir Allan Napier MacNab invested heavily in the company. But theRead More →