In 1854-55 the Great Western Railway was completed though Port Credit and Clarkson, connecting Toronto and Hamilton. As a faster and more efficient form of transportation, railways were responsible for the economic development of export industries in the 1850’s and 1860’s. The railway allowed farmers, millers and local industries who were situated along the railroad to send their produce and goods to Toronto and beyond, resulting in the expansion of business. Two other railways were built through Toronto Township: the Grand Trunk Railway in 1854-56, which allowed Malton to develop into a major wheat exporting centre, and the Credit Valley Railway in 1878, which was built through Erindale and Streetsville in 1878. The last railway, of sorts, to come to Toronto Township was the Toronto-Guelph Radial Railway, which operated from 1917-1931. Little visible evidence remains today to remind us of this railway.
Historic Train Stations:
Summerville Station (Credit Valley Railway)
The Summerville Railway Station, located between Dixie Road and Brown’s Line, was built about 1878 by the Credit Valley Railway, which was later taken over by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The building was sold in 1941 by CPR to Les Hughes, and later to Alan Johnson and Ben Madill. It was finally bought by the Ontario Rail Association and as of 1978 was stored in Milton for historic preservation. As of the late 1980s it was stored on the farm of Sherwood Hume. Mr. Hume is on the Board of Directors of the South Simcoe Railway Heritage Foundation, Tottenham.
Cooksville Station (Credit Valley Railway)
The coming of the Credit Valley Railway in 1879 brought an immediate boost the Cooksville and Dixie economy, and opened new methods of transportation for agricultural produce. The first Cooksville Station was built in 1878. This station burned in 1883, and was replaced. A third station was constructed in 1912, and stood until 1975, near modern Hensall Circle.
Clarkson (Clarkson’s) Station (Great Western Railway)
The railway station was originally located on the north side of the railway tracks, behind the store and Post Office on Clarkson Road. The railway secured right-of-way across Warren Clarkson’s lots in 1853. It brought commerce to local fruit and vegetable farmers. Corn, apples and especially strawberries were produced in Clarkson. The corner of Clarkson’s property, later purchased by the Great Western Railway, became known as Clarkson’s Corner. The railway siding carried the same name. The apostrophe in Clarkson’s was removed from the sign in 1956. The Clarkson Station burned in 1962. Clarkson saw its last CN train on May 19, 1967, after which Go Transit took over operation of rail line. The concrete foundation of the old station can still be seen amongst the weeds where tank cars from Petro-Canada are stored. Clarkson’s lubricants plant is one of the few surviving industrial shippers still using the rail line today.
Malton Station (Grand Trunk Railway)
The first Railway first came through Malton in 1854 and turned the small community into an active shipping centre. The first station in Malton is believed to have opened in 1856. On Saturday mornings, men and women would fill up the platform, carrying baskets and other means of conveyance of goods to take to Toronto and the St. Lawrence Market. By the early 1900s, with the advent of paved roads and automobiles, goods were transported to market by train less and less and the Malton Station became a Flag Stop. A second frame station was constructed in 1912 where Scarboro Street meets the rail tracks. The station and railway increased in activity when construction began on the nearby airport in the 1930s. The Malton Train Station was demolished in 1973.
Meadowvale Station (Credit Valley Railway)
The Meadowvale Station was established circa 1878, and the first train passed through Meadowvale on December 6, 1878. The official opening of the station and railway line took place on September 19, 1879. In 1956 the train service at the Meadowvale Station was terminated, and the station became a Flag Stop. By 1960, a caretaker was being paid $25 a month for part-time service. On July 16, 1962, the Toronto Township council concurred with the CPR’s request to discontinue service at the Meadowvale station. The station was then used for the Provimi Feed Company until it was torn down in the summer of 1976. The lumber was bought by John Landon and used in the building of a workshop and garage on his property east of the Credit River. During its demolition Steven Moran from Streetsville found several telegrams dating from before 1900 shoved under the top of the wall.
Port Credit Station (Great Western Railway)
The first Train Station in Port Credit was opened on December 3rd, 1855, and the first Train Master was John Alanson. The railway helped to boost the local economy, and although it contributed to the decline of the port, businesses in Port Credit that relied on the railway prospered. In the 1870s five trains ran daily between Toronto to Hamilton. On March 23, 1916 at 10:15 pm, Port Credit’s residents were witness to a train wreck that occurred 2 kilometres east of the Station. A Chicago Flyer with engineer Harry Overend in the cab of the engine ploughed into the back of a freight car at approximately 100 kilometres an hour. The Port Credit Train Station burned to the ground a few years later the Western Hotel was built in its place, also since demolished, on Stavebank Road. The train route still is used today by the CPR and GO Transit since 1967.
Streetsville CPR Station (Credit Valley Railway)
Built in 1914 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and typical of the stations built for small towns in the early 20th century, this brick train station consisted of a waiting room, ticket office, express office and baggage room with some attached service areas. Passenger train service was discontinued in 1961 and the station was used as a freight office until its demolition in 1982. The station stood at the end of Old Station Road in Streetsville.
Streetsville Junction Station (Credit Valley Railway)
Streetsville suffered a major blow due to a lack of efficient transport to outside markets draining commercialism and industry away from Streetsville to centres that were served by early railway routes, such as Malton, Brampton and Port Credit. In 1873 Streetsville was dealt another blow when Cooksville was chosen as the permanent seat of Toronto Township council and Town Hall. By 1876 Streetsville had a glimmer of hope in the upcoming arrival of the new Credit Valley Railway. With the coming of the CVR some of the local businesses that left the area in previous decades started to return. The train station was built in 1879 just north of Britannia Road and was first used by the CVR, and then was later operated by the CPR. Although the Streetsville CVR station still stands and is Mississauga’s sole surviving historic railway station, it was moved to its current location on William Street in Streetsville in 1914. The station has always been painted white, and the turret was both practical and stylistic, as it provided a clear view of the tracks in both directions, and served as an office for the telegraph operator.
Erindale Station (Credit Valley Railway)
The prosperity of Erindale Village had tapered off due in part to the bypassing of the village by the Great Western Railway in 1855, as the Dundas Highway lost much of its traffic and commerce to this new and more efficient form of transportation. It was not until 1879, when the Credit Valley Railway was opened, that Erindale received its own station and could benefit from access to rail transportation. The railway station was located on Erindale Station Road, and Bert Doerr was an early station agent. The station was a busy depot since mail was loaded and unloaded here, as was freight, parcels and agricultural produce. The train also transported passengers and livestock. The train station was demolished in the 1950s and the CVR was absorbed into the Canadian Pacific Railway.