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Ontario Railways Profiles

The following sections offer background information on each of the railways featured in this site. Constituent railways are not included. If you're interested learning more, we encourage you to search for additional resources and publications.

Algoma Central Railway (ACR)
The ACR is a small regional railway that began operations in northern Ontario in 1901. It is now under CN ownership, however continues to operate as a separate entity. learn more

Algoma Eastern Railway (AER)
The AER was a regional railway in northeast Ontario. It was leased to the CPR in 1930 and became part of the CPR in 1958. learn more

Bay of Quinte Railway (BQR)
The BQR was a regional railway that operated in Hastings County in eastern Ontario. It was built in 1884 and taken over by the CNoR in 1910. It became part of CN in 1918. Portions of it remained in use until the 1986. learn more

Canada Atlantic Railway (CAR)
The CAR was a regional railway operating in Ontario and Quebec. Built in the 1880s by lumber baron J.R. Booth, it was sold to the GTR in 1904 and later became part of CN. Small portions of it remain in use. learn more

Canada Southern Railway (CASO)
CASO operated in southwest Ontario and was owned by the New York Central Railroad. It was jointly acquired by CN and the CPR in 1983. Much of the line has since been abandoned. learn more

Canadian National Railway (CN)
CN was formed by the Canadian government in 1923 following the bankruptcy of the CNoR and GTR. CN is Canada's largest railway and maintains operations in both both Canada and the US. learn more

Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR)
The CNoR was formed in Manitoba in 1899 and rapidly grew to become a major player. Following bankruptcy in 1917, it was nationalized and became part of CN in 1923. learn more

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)
The CPR began operations as a transcontinental railway in 1885. It is currently Canada's second largest railway and operates in both Canada and the US. learn more

Central Ontario Railway (COR)
The COR was a regional railway in Eastern Ontario that began operating in 1879. In 1911 it became part of the CNoR (later CN). It was abandoned in stages from 1960 to 1984. learn more

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (CO)
The CO was a large American-owned railway that took over the Pere Marquette Railroad in 1929. Now known as CSX Tranportation, it continues to maintain operations in southwest Ontario. learn more

Cobourg & Peterborough Railway (C&P)
The C&P was an early regional line that opened in 1854. A victim of shoddy construction as well as betrayal by some of its principles, the railway was not financially successful. It was absorbed by the GTR in 1893 and shut down in 1898. learn more

Grand River Railway (GRNR)
The GRNR was an interurban electric railway that operated in what is now the city of Cambridge. It was operated by the CPR from 1903 to 1955. A small portion remains in use for industrial purposes. learn more

Grand Trunk Railway (GTR)
The GTR was a British owned railway that began operating in Ontario and Quebec in 1856. Following bankruptcy in 1920, it was nationalized and became part of CN in 1923. learn more

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTP)
The GTP was a short-lived subsidiary of the GTR that operated in western Canada from 1914-19. Following bankruptcy, it was placed in receivership and nationalized in 1919. In 1923 it became part of CN. learn more

Great Northern Railway of Canada
The Great Northern Railway of Canada was a short-lived regional line. It operated from 1900 until 1907 when it was sold to the Canadian Northern Railway. It became part of CN in 1918. learn more

Great Western Railway
The British-owned GWR began operating in southern Ontario in 1853. At its height, it controlled over 1,000 miles of track and was the second largest railway in the province. In 1882 it was taken over and merged into the GTR. learn more

Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa Railway (IB&O)
The IB&O began operations in 1884 as a regional Ontario railway in Haliburton and Hastings Counties. It was taken over by the CNoR (later CN ) in 1910. It was abandoned in 1960. learn more