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Parkdale Yard

Aerial view of Parkdale Yard looking west at Strachan Avenue. New CPR freight shed (used by FastFrate, a pool car forwarder) on King Street West in Parkdale Top Yard is at top right. Balance of top yard and Parkdale Station is beyond. Yellow CP diesel refueling truck sits next to yard office. Main yard tracks are numbered (right to left from main line) 1 to 8 and 9 to 12 on the lead with 13, 14 and 15 stretching to King Street. A short track 16 was added in later years to accommodate scales next to the yard office. Long-unused water tank to left of the yard office is gone but the water track remains just beyond the scales. It served as a shop track for yard diesels. Blue smoke coming from yard engine sitting on the Arco lead next to the Wharf lead. This was the usual spot for the Circle Job engine to sit between work. Another yard engine sits to the left of 15, on short track to Liberty warehouse (previously The A.R.Williams Machinery Co.) originally an old 19th century jail (1874-1915). (The gallows trap door could sometimes be heard banging in the wind on quiet nights!) All tracks except the main lines and most buildings (except for Irwin Toys and west) are gone, replaced by new development after some failed attempts in the 1980's real estate slump. Green in upper left is grass at Lamport Stadium (Allan A. "Lampy" Lamport, former long-serving mayor of Toronto) built in 1975 on the site of the former Mercer Reformatory, a women's prison.

Large groups of buildings to the left is John Inglis plant which had 10 tracks. It was here too that Dr. Ballard's (dog food) was located and used rented a CPR steam locomotive as a boiler near the end of the steam era due to a strike at Inglis. Bridge on Strachan Avenue is over the CNR Oakville Subdivision. Just to the left of the large Inglis sign can be seen CN's old Cabin E which once controlled the Wharf lead diamonds which ran diagonally across the main line. See below. It has been replaced by new tracks utilizing switches and requiring a zig zag movement to get from side to side. Almost hidden is the team track into the CNE almost under the Gardiner Expressway (elevated section). At the far right can be seen part of Parkdale Yard (see other photo above). Note the two leads crossing Strachan Avenue (towards bottom of photograph) and the short dump track for runaways, almost hidden in shade. Building with yellow vehicles is Metropolitan Toronto Police #1 Traffic. Small yard near Goodyear sign is CNR and includes lead into local industrial area also served by CPR and referred to by CPR as the Circle, likely for the way tracks circled around here and there. Some siding were CN only, some CP only, while a few such as Central Warehouse, were joint CN-CP. It was here that CN got its old nickname, the Leaky Roof.


Looking west from Bathurst Street (overpass). Far left is Wharf Lead under Bathurst Street with Fez City Yard mostly hidden beneath Gardiner Expressway. Old Fort York in foreground. Fort York Amouries (militia) is curved roof building on the other side of the Gardiner. Far right lower is CPR King Street Shed lead climbing up to Front Street West. Cabin D was located at dividing point of groups of tracks where white sheds are. Old building with Green Machines sign was a cold storage company served by CNR.

Three photographs above, Eugene D. Burles



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