A few weeks (months!) ago I began going through all of my yet-unposted photographs, and presented some shots from the old roundhouse in Toronto. That roundhouse is currently occupied by three different organizations, the brewery which I previously featured, a furniture store, and the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre. The TRHC is a relatively young organization, and the first part of their museum proper, in Roundhouse Park, opened in May of last year. I got a chance to visit the place at the start of their opening season, and took a ride on their mini railway. I also took lots of pictures – and procrastinated in posting them. So a few months shy of a year, here they are.
Volunteers are still working hard to make Roundhouse Park a great museum devoted to rail history in Canada. The significant feature of the park, the John Street Roundhouse, was completed in 1931, and used by the Canadian Pacific Railway up until 1986. It was eventually donated to the city of Toronto. A 60,000-gallon water tower exists in its original location (the water tower had to be moved during construction of the parking garage for the Convention Centre, which is underneath Roundhouse Park. Portions of the roundhouse were also dismantled and then reconstructed), now painted with the Steamwhistle Brewing logo.
Also located in the park are Don Station and Cabin D. Don Station was constructed in 1896 and was originally located alongside the Don River. The station was relocated to Roundhouse Park, and serves as a point to purchase tickets for the 7.25″ gauge miniature railway. Cabin D was also originally built in 1896, by the Grand Trunk Railway, and it coordinated track switches and signal lights. It was also relocated to Roundhouse Park.
All of these facilities in the park are beginning to look amazing, and the miniature railway serves as a fun way to tour the grounds. Don Station once again serves as a station, as opposed to the boarded up shell it once was before being moved to the park. Writing about places like the Railway Heritage Centre, the Milton on Hudson station, and even the Danbury Railway Museum, I’m always amazed by the sheer determination of rail-interested volunteers. The Toronto Railway Heritage Centre is certainly shaping up to be quite a wonderful place, and if you ever happen to be in the Toronto area, I highly recommend it.