Northern Railway of Canada
The Northern Railway of Canada was a historical Canadian railway located in the province of Ontario. It was eventually acquired by the Grand Trunk Railway, and is therefore a predecessor to the modern Canadian National Railway. The railway was originally known as the Toronto, Simcoe & Lake Huron, but soon became the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron, both names referring to the three lakes the railway connected. The line ran roughly north out of Toronto to Newmarket, then northeast to Bradford and Allandale (now part of Barrie) before turning west to Collingwood.
Financial difficulties and the resulting government bailout led to a reorganization of the company resulting in little more a name change to Northern Railway of Canada, in 1859. Additional lines connected to it over the years, extending the rails to Meaford and Penetanguishene to the west, and north to Lake Muskoka. In 1887, the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) gains a controlling interest, and the takeover was formalised in January 1888.
In July 1849, the Toronto, Simcoe & Lake Huron Union Railroad is founded by Frederick Chase Capreol and Charles Albert Berczy. The Guarantee Act helped finance construction of the railway through the sale of bonds, with the interest guaranteed by the colonial government. Other early events were:
- Groundbreaking by Lady Elgin on 15 October 1851.
- November 1852 the railway was renamed the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Union Railroad.
- In February 1853, the railway commissioned the construction of the first locomotive built in any British colony.
- In August 1858, the OS&HUR becomes the Northern Railway Company of Canada following a government bailout.
Several subsidiary railways were subsequently incorporated into the Northern Railway, including:
- The Toronto, Simcoe & Muskoka Junction Railway, created in 1869 was absorbed in 1875.
- The North Grey Railway.
- The North Simcoe Railway, created in January 1878
In June 1879, the Northern merged with the Hamilton and North-Western Railway, becoming the Northern and Northwestern Railway. Construction of a subsidiary, the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway, which ran between Gravenhurst and Nipissing, proves to be a significant financial burden.
A further extension in 1880s with the combined forces of the Northern Railway and the Hamilton & North-Western Railway connected the line from Muskoka, to the transcontinental CPR at North Bay in 1886. The Northern Railway was purchased by Grand Trunk Railway in 1888, and through its amalgamation, became part of the Canadian National Railway. CNR operated the mainline as the CN Newmarket Subdivision, selling off the branches to the west, and pulling up the sections north of Barrie. It is now the Barrie line after its purchase by Metrolinx.
Recognition Of the Ontario, Simcoe & Huron Railway
In 2012, the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway was inducted to the North America Railway Hall of Fame. The OS&HR was recognized for its contribution to railroading as a "Community, Business, Government or Organization" in the "National" category (pertaining specifically to the area in and around St. Thomas, Ontario.)
- "Mr Good's Locomotive Engine "Toronto"". The Canadian Journal 2: 76. 1854. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- *North America Railway Hall of Fame: Ontario, Simcoe & Huron Railway