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This was the first opportunity I'd take to fly over heavily restricted private property, and I almost got away with it. Except I found out I had actually driven onto CP property to fly it, and didn't even realize it! The maintenance worker was rather grumpy while informing me, but nonetheless allowed me to leave without the whole cop ordeal, which is good. While I did tell them I was flying a drone, I neglected to tell them I flying directly over their yard. Lol. Nonetheless, I gotta be more careful.

This was one of the shots I took, and probably the ugliest one I got, in terms of what is shown. These were the hump tracks at CP's Toronto yard, and under the wrath of Hunter Harrison, the hump yard here and at many other CP yards were shut down. The hump yard closed, I believe, in early 2013, and was ripped in its entirety the next year. While Hunter is largely to blame for massacring the yard, it's an important reminder that cuts are a major factor in the private sector world today, and CP is not the only railroad closing yards, ripping up lines and laying off employees. Outsourcing and economic recessions surely have not helped either.

The fate of this yard, besides the fact it is closed, is unknown. The north holding tracks could very well be shoved over towards the engine shops, and the rest of the land could be sold off for several millions of dollars. More optimistically, perhaps there is a brighter future ahead. Maybe one day, under a president less focused on stocks and more on railroading, this yard may exist again. However, the current ideology of class 1 railroads involve slow speeds, two to three mile long trains, and reclassifying of freight cars several times from origin to destination. Nonetheless, this makes it very hard to attract customers, and many have waved the rail industry goodbye because of this. 

That's probably enough ranting on my part. On the plus side, this vast area would make for a great rally race, and if the ground is solid enough, maybe a full on drag race. Just don't hit a pole or crash into the stacked rails. Take notice Hunter, you could make a lot of money off of this. Of course, the only way this would likely happen is illegally. Unlike some U.S (Oakvand foreign continent cities, illegal racing and sideshows are pretty rare here, even in Toronto's sketchy parts like this one. Lets keep it that way.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Daniel Odette all rights reserved.



Caption: This was the first opportunity I'd take to fly over heavily restricted private property, and I almost got away with it. Except I found out I had actually driven onto CP property to fly it, and didn't even realize it! The maintenance worker was rather grumpy while informing me, but nonetheless allowed me to leave without the whole cop ordeal, which is good. While I did tell them I was flying a drone, I neglected to tell them I flying directly over their yard. Lol. Nonetheless, I gotta be more careful.

This was one of the shots I took, and probably the ugliest one I got, in terms of what is shown. These were the hump tracks at CP's Toronto yard, and under the wrath of Hunter Harrison, the hump yard here and at many other CP yards were shut down. The hump yard closed, I believe, in early 2013, and was ripped in its entirety the next year. While Hunter is largely to blame for massacring the yard, it's an important reminder that cuts are a major factor in the private sector world today, and CP is not the only railroad closing yards, ripping up lines and laying off employees. Outsourcing and economic recessions surely have not helped either.

The fate of this yard, besides the fact it is closed, is unknown. The north holding tracks could very well be shoved over towards the engine shops, and the rest of the land could be sold off for several millions of dollars. More optimistically, perhaps there is a brighter future ahead. Maybe one day, under a president less focused on stocks and more on railroading, this yard may exist again. However, the current ideology of class 1 railroads involve slow speeds, two to three mile long trains, and reclassifying of freight cars several times from origin to destination. Nonetheless, this makes it very hard to attract customers, and many have waved the rail industry goodbye because of this.

That's probably enough ranting on my part. On the plus side, this vast area would make for a great rally race, and if the ground is solid enough, maybe a full on drag race. Just don't hit a pole or crash into the stacked rails. Take notice Hunter, you could make a lot of money off of this. Of course, the only way this would likely happen is illegally. Unlike some U.S (Oakland) foreign continent cities, illegal racing and sideshows are pretty rare here, even in Toronto's sketchy parts like this one. Lets keep it that way.

NOTE: Only the hump yard is closed. Many of the classification tracks and the engine shops at Toronto yard are still very much active.

Photographer:
Daniel Odette [153] (more) (contact)
Date: 04/19/2016 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: None (search)
Train Symbol: None (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CP Toronto Yard (search)
City/Town: Toronto (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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19 Comments
  1. The “bowl tracks” in Alyth seem to be gone. if they are still there, the grass has overgrown them!

  2. further…Gordon67..I did also mention Markham by the main line & G Yard, so both of you are correct. I had some temporary delusion that the one by Pulldown was also Markham.. Like we can say about so many politicians..I could say of my railway knowledge ..”what did I know & when did I stop knowing it”?

  3. actually thinking about it, ngineerd4u is correct. It is Finch Ave I was referring to..I’ve stood there enough times across from the Pulldown tower..& I should have known. Call it a “senior moment” after 6 yrs of retirement..
    Anyway..sad to see the gutted carcass of the once massive yard..

  4. @gordon. That was the bridge i was talking about. I can see the Markham Rd bridge to the right. Sorry if I phrased it incorrectly :-)

  5. @ngineered4u – no, RonB had it correct. The bridge near the top right is the Markham Road bridge over the Belleville mains and G Yard. Your bridge is left of center near the top.

  6. @baldeagle. I am sure CP will be fine, but like all railroads it may look different. Hunters dream of conquest and a rival to CN being the only true railroad in North America that rails meet Atlantic & Pacific may be dead, but with that egomaniac one never knows.
    CN’s largest shareholder is Microsoft’s Bill Gates and second largest is the Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation. No one person or company can own more that 15% of CN and its headquarters must remain in Montreal. I think we are in good hands.

  7. @RonB that bridge is actually the Finch ave bridge.The auto compound is to the north east of the shot and you can see autoracks to the left. The Mazda dealership is that blue building on the corner of Finch and Markham Rd. Its hard to see in this shot but the control tower for this end of the yard is right near Finch Ave bridge.

  8. Bill Ackman still owns north of 6% of CP…

    even if he sells, the future is up to the CP board.

  9. just a note. the major share holder in CP has sold off a good chunk of investment in the company. Is there a future for CP ???

  10. dhately, correct Doug, this is looking from approx above the GYO toward Markham Rd and the Havelock Sub would be the most left track. You can also see the main track and Markham Rd bridge over that & “G” yard..toward upper right of the photo

  11. Most definitely sad to see. The hump yard was divided into 8 groups numbered from the north to the south (left to right.) The last one to be constructed was Group 6, which is the one where the ground is darker. It didn’t open until 1988. Expansion was needed then and it was closed only 25 years later.

  12. Is this view looking north east from about where the top of the hump was?

  13. I worked in and out of that years many times over the years between 1973 and my retirement in 2010.

    I haven’t been back for 5 years so I heard about, but haven’t seen the gutting of the the centre part of the yard..I’m stunned by this photo ..

  14. ngineered4u, interesting. Considering Toronto traffic, I would think you would want to live close to Mac for CN runs! My papa actually drove me into the yard when I was younger, and remember being up close to the locomotives by the engine shop. A foreman came by, and promptly told us we can’t do that. Lol. They were nice though, and told us about the CP Holiday Train. That would’ve been 2002. I remember vividly though seeing a pair of SW1200′s shoving cars over the hump. I know condo developers have invested millions into restoring the grounds in the old downtown industrial sections. I can’t imagine this land is nearly as valuable though.

    railfanMTL, I know Calgary’s hump yard is closed as well, however I don’t think it’s been ripped yet. Sad to see indeed.

  15. Closed the hump yard here in Montreal too. Looks very similar.

  16. Hey Daniel..you shouyld have stopped by. I live 5 min from the yard. It sure has changed from when I was a kid taking pictures in Agincourt. Sad really. The land is heavily polluted and would take a major clean up to build on. I guess perhaps something industrial. Nice shot

  17. I guess it depends on how you read the description. I never said Toronto yard was closed in its entirety. More or less I was directing my description towards the hump yard, but I see the the lack of clarity which you picked up on. Thanks for the comments! I’ll be back at some point I’m sure.

  18. Wonderful picture of a gut wrenching scene! Thanks for going through the effort to get this shot. A few motes though…

    Toronto yard is not “closed”. Reduced in size? Yes. No longer a hump yard? Correct. Closed? No.

    Switching still happens here, trains originate and terminate here and it is still a home terminal. It is not closed. Let’s make sure our facts are correct!

    PRH

  19. It kind of hurts to look at this. As a kid we would pass through the north side of the yard on the Dayliner from Havelock. Seeing the cars roll over the hump was always a highlight of the trip

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