Don Station Completes the Journey to Roundhouse Park!
Click on each picture for a closer look!
The historic Don Station was moved early on the morning of December 10, 2008 from Todmorden Mills to its permanent home at the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre at Roundhouse Park.
The structure was divided into six sections to facilitate the move.
The lower part of the station was separated from the roof and divided into two segments that were loaded onto flatbed trailers and began their 8-kilometre journey under police escort close to midnight, arriving at Roundhouse Park in exactly 59 minutes.
The route followed was:
East on Pottery Rd.
South on Broadview Avenue
West on Danforth Avenue & Bloor Street
South on Queen's Park and University Avenue
West on Front Street
South on Blue Jays Way
East on Bremner Avenue
The divided roof, two sections on one trailer, was moved in a second trip. The turret and the turret roof had been delivered to Roundhouse Park earlier on December 9th.
The Don Station was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1896 and was originally located just south of Queen Street on the west side of the Don River. The station remained in service until 1967 and was moved to the Todmorden Mills Museum in 1969. For the past two decades the station was used as a storage facility and was usually inaccessible to the public. Beginning in 2005, the Toronto Railway Historical Association hosted an open house and archival display at the station on selected weekends.
The segments of the station are now resting at Roundhouse Park and will be soon be reassembled on a permanent concrete foundation that was prepared several weeks ago. Following its almost forty-year sojourn at Todmorden, some of the floor joists were badly rotted and will be rebuilt with new materials. The structure was divided along seams that separated it for its original 1969 move, so no additional structural damage was sustained in the 2008 move.
The Don Station is the only remaining 19th century railway station in Toronto, the last of 75 that once existed within the present city limits. The station will be completely restored beginning in the spring of 2009 and will be one of the centrepieces of the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre, along with the 1896 Cabin D interlocking tower and Canadian National steam locomotive No. 6213.
Text by Derek Boles; Photos by Norm Betts