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Canadian Pacific Railway

Toronto Division

Swansea and Ontario Food Terminal (OFT)


6269 on the Swansea Transfer in New Toronto. Bill Thomson

6288 Swansea Transfer on Goodyear siding New Toronto. 1949 R.J.Sandusky

6525 shoving out to the Food Terminal from Parkdale, passes Sunnyside on the service track. August 1966. Note the overhead footbridge (with slogan) for passengers. Public footbridge in background.
S-3 660 hp MLW #80989 1/1955

Swansea was an area west of Sunnyside (street scenes) and east of Mimico on the Joint Section. In later years it included the Ontario Food Terminal. Only the Bolt Works (later STELCO) was there along with a CNR industrial spur that was once part of the Toronto Belt Line's Humber Loop. This CNR track crossed the Queen Street Extension built in 1955 with a separate right-of-way for the TTC at a diamond, one of the last such crossings at grade with streetcars.

The Swansea Transfer, really just a yard job, working out of Parkdale Yard, operated on the service track, at least officially, to reach industries in Mimico and New Toronto. All industries were considered by the freight department to be in New Toronto. These included many high freight rate shipments to Western Canada. Christie Biscuits, Campbell's Soup, Goodyear Tire, Anaconda Brass, Gilbey's Distillers, were all shippers of the lucrative and very competitive traffic. Two shifts worked in this area with a small 0-6-0 in steam days, then a 1000 HP ALCO diesel.

Ontario Food Terminal opened in July 1954 to replace the burned out Toronto Wholesale Fruit Market on the Esplanade in downtown Toronto, the former Great Western station long closed. A $4 Million facility located on 50 acres it had 14 team tracks and handled very large volumes of season fruits and vegetables from the USA for the 36 wholesalers that relocated from downtown. While the OFT was switched by the Swansea Transfer when traffic was light, in season in the 1950's and 60's a Vegetable job (Veg Engine), out of Lambton would be assigned, (or called as an Extra Yard), to work there in conjunction with CNR. They would have to stay out of each other's way as only one engine could switch there at a time. In later years it worked out of Parkdale. In the 1970's and 80's this traffic declined, going to trucks and finally the tracks were all ripped up. Now it looks like this:

CLICK image to enlarge.

Mimico Switch Line Railway was Ontario incorporated in 1891 " to build an industrial spur over lands of the Mimico Real Estate Security Co.Ltd.. in Etobicoke Township, from a point on the Grand Trunk Railway to Lake Ontario; no powers to expropriate private lands; authority to arrange for operation by the Grand Trunk Railway Co. Of Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway Co., or the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Ry. Co."

This unique "railway" is believed to be the long spur in New Toronto, running south over New Toronto Street, and Birmingham Street parallel to 8th Street, to reach several industries including the 8 tracks at Goodyear Tire & Rubber. A distance of about one mile.

How long it legally existed before being sold to the GTR or CNR is unknown. It must be remembered that in
the 1890's the railway did not have to build any tracks to serve industries. They preferred for you to bring it
to a team track. Some had to take different types of action to get service.

A similar situation once existed in West Toronto, when GTR refused a siding, local businessmen sought a
charter for the Junction Terminal Railway

Next: West Toronto Diamond, Tremof, Mount Dennis, Weston, and Emery

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