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From the Archives: Toronto's 1st Union Station - Part 6 of 8

Click on the picture for a closer look!

The two tenant railways at Union Station were apparently not satisfied with the facility. The Northern Railway opened its own terminal just west of Brock Street in 1861. The Great Western Railway moved into its own station at the foot of Yonge Street in 1866. In 1868, the Northern Railway also opened City Hall station on the Esplanade west of Jarvis Street. At that time Toronto's City Hall was located in the structure that is now enclosed within the northern end of the building housing the St. Lawrence Market. Some of the Northern's best customers were farmers bringing their agricultural products for sale at the market. As a convenience for their passengers, both Great Western and Northern trains continued to stop at Union Station on the way to their own terminals.

In the early 1870's, the Grand Trunk decided to build a much larger Union Station in the same location. In 1871, Toronto's first Union Station was demolished and a temporary station was erected west of Simcoe Street. This facility served for two years until the second Union Station opened on July 1st, 1873. It was at the time the most lavish train station ever built in Canada and is shown in the illustration above. This facility will also be the topic of a future installment of this column.

Click here to read the next in this series of excerpts from Derek's article on Toronto's 1st Union Station.

By Derek Boles, TRHA Historian

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