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This old postcard photo of the Canadian Pacific Railway grain elevator under construction at Maple Island, Victoria Harbour, Ontario, later of course renamed Port McNicoll. This photo was taken in 1910 from the middle of the slipway looking south at the elevator construction site. Notice the conveyors and the jacks used in the concrete slipform construction of the bins and the metal framework of the marine towers. This was the first of three sections with a capacity of a little more than 2 million bushels.
The elevator was designed and constructed by John S. Metcalf Company Limited of Chicago-Montreal for the C.P.R.
Scott Garrett collection

Here is a view of the dormant grain elevator at Port McNicoll in 1999 looking east from the former coal dock of the CPR Great Lakes Steamships, some ten years after the elevator closed. Note the first of the three marine towers, 150 feet in height, is now lying on the ground in a crumpled pile of twisted metal. "A" Tower was the first to pulled down followed by "B" and "C" Towers. The marine towers ran on a double set of tracks along the wharf enabling a 90 foot marine leg housed in the tower to be dropped into the hold of a grain laden lake vessel. The workhouse on the other side of the main bin structure has already been demolished as well as the 160 foot tall smokestack and the powerhouse located where the fallen tower lies. At the time of this writing, (Jan.2009) demolition has just started on the remaining bin structure almost one hundred years after the first concrete was poured, making way for a new residential/commercial development on the over 825 acres of the former Canadian Pacific Railway property in this Georgian Bay village. It is the last remaining structure on the harbour linking Port McNicoll to the C.P.R. Photo and text: Scott Garrett


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