Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

End of the Line

A while ago I wrote about Kingston's Outer Station. I shared the observation of a train writer who attributed its failure to reinvent itself to its north end location. The spur line which ended at Johnson and Ontario Streets fared significantly better. So much so that we dined here a number of times before we ever learned that it was once the 1885 depot of the Grand Trunk Railway!

A visit to the wonderful collections at FB Vintage Kingston, will show you the before picture. This is the 'Inner Station' at the end of the Hanley Spur, as I learned from Eric Gagnon's terrific train blog Trackside Treasure.

Bird's Eye Map, 1875
Just down Ontario Street, across the street from City Hall, Kingston's busy Visitor Information Centre stands in Confederation Park, housed in yet another historic railway station, the southern terminus of the Kingston & Pembroke Railway.

Steam engine 1095, The Spirit of Sir John A. locomotive gleams for the camera just outside. It was built by Kingston's own Canadian Locomotive Company, and worked from 1913 to 1960. As so much of the physical evidence of our industrial past is gone, the history evaporates with it. Who today realizes that this company manufactured more than 3000 steam, electric and diesel engines for CPRail. Right on Ontario Street, between Gore and Earl? Here's what the location looks like today.

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