I dropped by Toronto recently, and since I don’t often head West of Montreal, I’d made myself a small bucket checklist to tick off whilst I was in town. One of those items was to pay a visit to the city’s dedicated railway museum, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Facing the CN Tower and the Rogers Stadium, the museum sits mostly outside in the open air. This space is home to a large number of restored or preserved locomotives from the area’s railway history. I find North American locomotives far more imposing than their European counterparts, and here you can walk right up to these monsters.
In addition, A working turntable is used to move the locomotives around the museum’s campus. Round back is a workshop where they restore and maintain their collection, along with a small indoor exhibition. It’s here you’ll find a train simulator, various railway paraphernalia as well as a historical video on The Canadian, the route between Toronto and Vancouver, and surely one of the longest journeys in the world.
Topping things off are an extensive mini railway for the children, and an on-site brewpub for the adults. If you’re in Downtown Toronto, there’s really no good reason not to pay it a visit.
The outdoor part of the museum, comprising the locomotive and train collection, is completely free of charge. An extra $5 will allow you access to the aforementioned indoor exhibition as well, which will provide some historical context to what you were seeing outdoors.
The museum itself is close to Union Station, albeit sandwiched between the Gardiner Expressway and the railway, but follow the signs towards the Rogers Centre and you’ll find it without too much trouble.
If you’re not able to drop by - let’s face it, Canada is big - then give them a follow on their Twitter account. They’re always posting interesting historical transit trivia.