The Toronto Public Library (TPL) has long been committed to an active exhibition program for its Local History and Special Collections in the Canada Trust Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library and other Library venues. The virtual version of All Aboard Toronto – Railways and the Growth of a City, fully re-creates the exhibition on display in our Gallery from August 4 – October 7, 2001. The exhibition explores Toronto railway history and its impact on the development of the city from the 1850s to the end of the steam era in the mid 20th century. It is illustrated with over a hundred collection items including paintings, drawings, maps, postcards, broadsides and other ephemera.

This online exhibition can be viewed by era and area, or you can browse the entire gallery with abbreviated captions. The online viewer is also offered a journey along the route of Toronto’s first railway line, the Ontario Simcoe & Huron Railway, as well as an opportunity to play railway games and puzzles.

To date, some but not all of the images presented in the virtual exhibition can be searched on the Historicity: Toronto Then and Now gateway or the TPL Digital Collections website. Unless otherwise indicated, the images are from the Toronto Public Library’s collection and copyright is held by the Library. Digital reproductions of the collections may be ordered - click here.

Details concerning Historicity: Toronto Then and Now programs are available here.


The Toronto Public Library gratefully acknowledges The Millennium Bureau of Canada, The Toronto Star and toronto.com for their support of this project, and Raymond F. Corley, transportation consultant, for the loan of material for the exhibition.



TPL Project Team Staffing
Information Technology Department
Mount Pleasant Branch, South Region
Preservation and Digitization Services Department
Service Planning and Support Department
Special Collections Center
And toronto.com graphic design support