The Toronto Railway Museum is open! Please click here for more information.     
C.P.R. John Street Roundhouse

  This 9,300-square-meter roundhouse was built between 1929 and 1931 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and became known as the John Street roundhouse. The roundhouse originally had stalls for 32 locomotives that were moved in and out of the structure on a massive 120-foot rotating turntable designed by the Canadian Bridge Company. Locomotives were driven onto the turntable and rotated for positioning into one of the stalls for servicing and light repairs.

Every day John St. locomotives hauled over forty CPR passenger trains in and out of Toronto's Union Station. Some of them would pull local commuter trains to Hamilton or Peterborough, Ontario. Others would haul quarter-mile-long trains on the initial portions of journeys to destinations as far as Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Detroit, Chicago and New York City.

In its prime, the John Street engine facility contained 43 structures, several miles of track and covered nearly 16 acres of property. Up to 150 men worked in the facility 24 hours a day.

The locomotives serviced here were so attractively maintained that their appearance became known among railroaders as the "John Street polish". For over thirty years the roundhouse was used to service CPR steam locomotives. When the company retired its steam engines in 1960, John Street continued to service CPR and VIA Rail diesel-electric locomotives for another twenty years until 1986 when the CPR decided to close the facility and donate the facility to the City of Toronto for use as a municipal railway museum.

The Toronto Railway Historical Association is utilizing three stalls within the roundhouse and trackage added in Roundhouse Park to display locomotives and rolling stock, as well as display items pertaining to the artifacts. We currently have a simulator allowing visitors to operate virtual trains over tracks in the Toronto area, controlling them using a real locomotive cab and associated controls. The three stalls have been be refurbished so that repairs can also be made to our locomotives and cars. During the hours when the Railway Heritage centre is open to the public, portions of the repair area are accessible for public viewing so that this crucial portion of real railway operation is illustrated and understood.

TRHA intends to bring the roundhouse to life again, showing our visitors the activities and artifacts that made this building such a vital component in the functioning of a railway.

Click here to visit a website with an extensive collection of photographs of the CPR John Street Roundhouse as it exists today.
News and Events About Us Museum Collections History Links Contact Us Resources Home Click on the picture for a closer view!