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Packers Lead West Toronto Yard

1578-1013 "Mother and Daughter" pair shoving across Ryding Avenue leaving the park and soon to
cross St. Clair Ave. W. with a platform (caboose) leading followed by a gon and four loaded tank cars.
Manual flagging was required at all level crossings. Two photos March 3, 2006 Michael Da Costa

Flagging Gunns Road. Bunge Canada plant at right. St.Clair Avenue West out of view to right.

Lead to Bunge (old CanAmera) formerly to Canada Packers etc. through Ryding Avenue Park. 11.2 acres
including George Bell Arena at right. Looking north-northeast from West Toronto Yard fence gate.
April 16, 2005 R.L.Kennedy

Note: An old CPR diagram of this area shows "City of Toronto Railway".
Decades ago this land was donated to the city for park land.

Lead looking west from Gunns Road crossing. New housing by the hundreds along new streets as well as St.Clair Avenue West fills the former site of Canada Packers. Meat processing plants remain to the north of lead, none served by rail.
July 2, 2005 R.L.Kennedy

Crossing signpost is full of burned-out stubs of fusees (note piles of ash!) used to protect crossing when switching at night. Gunns Road looking east. July 10, 2005 R.L.Kennedy

Houses fill the former site Canada Packers as far as you can see looking west along St.Clair Ave.W. at Gunns Rd. which has been extended south (left) as (Old) Stockyards Rd. to West Toronto St. through the former site of the Ontario Stockyards. Note the clockwise arrangement of streetcar track through Gunns Loop instead of the more traditional counterclockwise direction. This was a short extention built in 1980 west from Keele Street where Keele Loop was located at Keele and Weston Rd. opposite the office building shown below. July 2, 2005 R.L.Kennedy

Bunge office building at 30 Weston Road just north of St.Clair Avenue West. Looking west.This same building has contained the offices of Swift's and in later years, CanAmera Foods, owned since October 15, 2002 Bunge. (Bunge Canada March 29, 2004). Once an extensive food processing plant, by the time CanAmera took over, only edible oils were produced here.
July 2, 2005 R.L.Kennedy

Aerial view 30 Weston Road site looking north. January 2009

Bottom right is Keele Street where it becomes Weston Road curving to left.
Rows of townhouses sit on former CNR West Toronto Yard site.
CNR Mainline at far right.


The plant was closed November 2007 and the property sold to developers (Trinity and RioCan) for a big box type plaza. Plans put forward to the City of Toronto in June 2008 referred to a 19 acre site (later 22 acres) and a $210 million project. Demolition took place over many months starting in January 2009. Redevelopment began 2011 and was completed 2014. Known as The Stockyards. The largest single building is at the west edge of the property opposite the TTC Gunns Loop used by St.Clair route streetcars and Runnymede route buses. This buidling was occupied by Target Canada, a US based department store that took over many Zeller's stores. Opened March 2014 it and the entire chain of stores in Canada soon failed going bankrupt in January 2015 and stores closed April 2015. It remains vacant near the end of 2015 as does much of the plaza never leased.



Part 5

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