Ontario and Quebec Railway

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The Ontario and Quebec Railway (O&Q) was a historic Canadian railway located in eastern Ontario.


The railway had received a charter in 1881,[1] authorizing it to building a railway line between Perth and Toronto. It was effectively controlled by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), as 95% of the shares issued were held by persons connected with the CPR.

Through the O&Q, the CPR created its railway network in southern and eastern Ontario:[2]

  1. it amalgamated with the Credit Valley Railway,[3] which had also acquired a 999-year lease to a railway line from London Junction Railway.
  2. CP sold to O&Q its line from Perth to Smiths Falls
  3. O&Q leased from Toronto Grey & Bruce Railway for a term of 999 years its rail line running from Toronto northwest to Owen Sound and other points
  4. O&Q purchased from Atlantic and North-west Railway a part of the its railway system in Quebec thereby providing a connection to the province's railways
  5. O&Q received authorization to amalgamate with the CVR, TG&B, A&NW or Canada Southern Railway, or acquire or lease any of their lines, in order to provide a through service between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal[4]
  6. Parliament approved a preliminary agreement between the CPR and CVR, O&Q and A&NW to provide for the leasing of lines in order to provide for a through route between Montreal and St Thomas.[5]

Lease of operations to CPR[edit]

The CPR formalized its association with the O&Q by obtaining a 999 year lease on it in 1884,[6] expiring in 2883. By 1890, this lease gave the CPR an extensive network in Ontario and Quebec, with lines reaching between Quebec City and Windsor, Ontario, as well as a line running from near Ottawa to a connection with the CPR at Mattawa, Ontario.

The CPR never owned all of O&Q, a fact that caused legal problems when it attempted to sell off some O&Q real estate in Toronto that had become quite lucrative. However, the CPR won the court battle, which went to the Supreme Court of Canada.[7]

While O&Q and the TG&B had always been operated as part of the CPR network, they were finally amalgamated to form the St. Lawrence and Hudson Railway in 1998,[8][9] as a consequence of a corporate reorganization undertaken by CP.[10]


  1. ^ An Act to incorporate the Ontario and Quebec Railway Company, S.C. 1881, c. 44
  2. ^ Wotherspoon, pp. 969–970
  3. ^ by virtue of s. 19 of the 1881 Act and An Act respecting the Credit Valley Railway Company, S.O. 1882-83, c. 50
  4. ^ An Act to amend an Act to incorporate the Ontario and Quebec Railway Company, S.C. 1883, c. 58
  5. ^ An Act respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, S.C. 1883, c. 55
  6. ^ An Act to confirm the lease of the Ontario and Quebec Railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and for other purposes, S.C. 1884, c. 54, confirming the "Indenture of lease: The Ontario & Quebec Railway Company to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company". January 1884. 
  7. ^ Wotherspoon v. Canadian Pacific Ltd. 1987 CanLII 2807, [1987] 1 SCR 952 (25 June 1987)
  8. ^ "Federal Corporation Information - 3543064". Industry Canada. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Federal Corporation Information - 3543072". Industry Canada. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ Re Canadian Pacific Limited 1996 CanLII 8029 (2 July 1996), Superior Court of Justice (Ontario, Canada)