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Toronto Railway Museum Fall 2014 Lecture Series

The Toronto Railway Historical Association presents a series of three illustrated lectures by Toronto Railway Museum historian Derek Boles. Each of these fast-moving presentations is illustrated with hundreds of photographs, original animations, maps, diagrams, railway documents, advertising and other ephemera collected over the years by Mr. Boles and combined with his commentary on Toronto’s railways.

The Toronto Railway Museum is presenting these lectures with the cooperation and hospitality of Leon’s Furniture Store located in the roundhouse adjacent to the museum. Admission is free and comfortable seating and fine viewing on multiple television monitors is guaranteed!

We ask that you pre-register for each event using the links below.

Part 1- September 27, 2014- The John Street Roundhouse 

Due to illness, the first lecture will be rescheduled to a later date!

The Roundhouse was built in 1929 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was part of the sprawling railway yards that extended from Yonge Street all the way over to Strachan Avenue. Today the roundhouse is all that remains of several dozen buildings and hundreds of miles of track that once serviced Canadian Pacific and Canadian National passenger trains at Union Station. This presentation will explore the history of roundhouses in Toronto and the transition of John Street from the largest combined passenger car and locomotive facility in Canada, through its decline and dereliction in the 1990s, to the Toronto Railway Museum that hosts over 60,000 visitors a year.

Click here to reserve your seat for the first lecture!

Part 2 - Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - Toronto Union Station

Toronto Union Station is one of the city's most beloved heritage buildings and architectural treasures. The city’s first Union Station opened in 1858. This was replaced in 1873 and again in 1896 and finally by the present Union Station in 1927. The City of Toronto purchased the station from the railways in 2000 and has embarked on a $795 million restoration and revitalization of this National Historic Site. While this is going on, there are more people passing through Union Station than any other location in Canada. This presentation will outline the history of Toronto’s four Union Stations and what to expect when the current renovation is completed in 2016.

Click here to reserve your seat for October 11th!

Part 3- Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 - New York’s Pennsylvania Station

 Pennsylvania Station in New York City was the largest and most monumental railway station ever built. The building and its infrastructure cost over $10 billion in today’s money. The architecture of Penn Station was a direct influence on Toronto and Ottawa Union Stations. Opened in 1910, Penn Station was demolished in the early 1960s. The station’s destruction galvanized the architectural preservation movement throughout North America. This presentation will illustrate one of the greatest civil engineering accomplishments in history and enable you to vicariously explore the greatest railway terminal in the world.

Click here to reserve your seat for November 22nd!

Derek Boles, TRHA Historian

Derek Boles is one of the founding members of the Toronto Railway Historical Association and has written and lectured extensively on Toronto's railway heritage. He coordinates the annual Doors Open event at Union Station and has led almost 2,000 people on his popular monthly tours of the station. He recently completed two terms on the board of Heritage Toronto and was the last chair of the Union Station Revitalization Public Advisory Group. Derek’s book, Toronto’s Railway Heritage was released by Arcadia Publishing in 2009. His most recent published articles include The Canadian Northern Railway in Toronto and Toronto’s Forgotten Suburban Trains: Commuter Rail Before GO Transit.

Click on each image for a closer look! 

John Street Roundhouse
Union Station
Pennsylvania Station

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