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Laborers, 1853
Printed broadside. 30.1 x 32.3 cm.
TPL (TRL) Acc. 1853 Laborers

An early broadside asking for men to work on railway construction. This work provided many immigrants with a way to earn a living and restart their life in Canada.
"Toronto", Engine # 2 [1881]
Photograph coloured with watercolour. 18.5 x 35.4 cm.
TPL (TRL) Acc. JRR 1115

This engine was the first locomotive built in Canada. James Good manufactured the engine at his foundry on the corner of Queen and Yonge streets for the Ontario, Simcoe & Huron Railway (Northern Railway). The "Toronto" pulled the city's first revenue passenger train from Front and Simcoe streets near the Provincial Parliament to Machell's Corners (Aurora) on May 16, 1853. The trip took five hours and was considered fast. The railway's most common freight gave it its nickname, Oats, Straw and Hay. The line was completed to Collingwood in 1855, providing a quicker route for travellers between Lakes Ontario and Huron.

The photograph was taken in 1881 in the Northern Railway Yards at the foot of Brock Street (Spadina Avenue). (1) W.H. Adamson, secretary to managing director, Frederick W. Cumberland, (2) John Broughton, machinist, (3) Joseph Benson, yard caretaker, (4) Daniel Sheehy, engineer, (5) James Armitage, foreman, mechanic department, (6) Joshua Metzler (window), (7) James Phillips (tender), (8) John Harvie, the railway's first conductor, (9) Charles Storey, conductor, (10) Thomas Peters, ran the stationary engineering machine shop.

Provincial Parliament (1832-1893) [1870]
William J. Thomson. 1870.
Pen & ink over blue pencil. 14.1 x 29.1 cm.
TPL (TRL) Acc. B 1-18

The third Provincial Parliament building in Toronto was situated on Front Street between Simcoe and John streets overlooking the harbour. At different periods, the building was used for a university, an insane asylum and a military barracks, as well as a parliament. In 1893, the Provincial Parliament was moved to its present Queen's Park location. The Canadian Pacific Railway then filled the old site with freight sheds. Today, the CBC building occupies the western part of the land.
Davenport Station [1863]
Photograph coloured with watercolour derived from a line drawing published in The Canadian Illustrated News, 25 July 1863. 11.5 x 17.8 cm.
TPL (TRL) Acc. JRR 862

In 1853, a few miles outside of Toronto at the edge of the forest a small shed was built as a passenger station for the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron (later Northern Railway), the first railway in Toronto. The station land was donated by George Cooper, who realized that access to nearby "rapid transit" might increase his own property's value. This Davenport Station, built in 1857, was located north of Davenport Road on Caledonia Park Road.