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An overview of Canadian National's sprawling Mimico Yard is pictured looking westward from the east end yard tower back in 1954. There is a large abundance of classic steam-era equipment visible, including tons of both wooden and steel 40' boxcars, old wooden vans, an Alco S-series diesel switcher working one of the leads, and wisps of white smoke from steam engines working in the yard. The RIP track and car shops are visible on the right, and the leads to the roundhouse are present on the left (the roundhouse and its smokestack are visible on the left in the distance, with the ice house for servicing ice-cooled refrigerator cars nearby). The city water tower in New Toronto (still standing today) is visible off in the distance by Kipling Avenue, as is the old National Silicates plant in the distance on the right. The Oakville Sub mainline tracks originally ran past Mimico on the northernmost edge of the yard (hidden on the far right beyond the yard tracks). Mimico Yard, formerly CN's main west-end freight yard in the Toronto area at the time, has undergone many significant changes over the years. The transition from steam to diesel in the 50's made a lot of the old steam-era facilities redundant, and the Mimico roundhouse was demolished in parts between 1965-1969 (the old coal tower managed to survive into the 80's however). The most notable was when CN opened its new Toronto Yard (later renamed MacMillan Yard) north of the city in Concord/Maple, shifting much of its freight yard operations there and vacating a good chunk of Mimico Yard on the north side to allow government-owned commuter agency GO Transit to establish its base of operations out of the old CN car shop buildings, forming the start of Willowbrook Yard (more modern maintenance facilities were constructed on-site and opened in 1980). Also changed around the same time, the Oakville Sub mainlines were re-aligned right through the middle of the yard (cutting right through the middle of this image), and the former mainlines removed except for a service track to switch customers along the north side of the yard. Much of the yard tracks on the left were also removed for a new freight shed on the south-east side built around 1968.Another significant change was when VIA moved from its Spadina roundhouse & yard facilities in downtown Toronto to their new Toronto Maintenance Centre in the mid-80's, built in Mimico Yard on the south side of the mainline, on the site of the old ice house. Over time as local customers dwindled and passenger services expanded, GO Transit and VIA Rail have taken over more and more of Mimico Yard. Today CN only occupies a small portion along the south side by New Toronto Street, used by locals for servicing the remaining freight customers in the area.A similar present-day view can be had looking west off the Islington Avenue overpass, that was built to the west of the car shops over the middle of the yard around the early 1980's.More Mimico images:The Mimico coal tower and CNR Northern 6167: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=26895Mimico Roundhouse ready tracks teaming with steam engines: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=15340CNR 6201 stored at Mimico awaiting scrapping: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=29996First-generation diesel power at the east end of Mimico: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=18441
Copyright Notice: This image ©Bill Thomson all rights reserved.



Caption: An overview of Canadian National's sprawling Mimico Yard is pictured looking westward from the east end yard tower back in 1954. There is a large abundance of classic steam-era equipment visible, including tons of both wooden and steel 40' boxcars, old wooden vans, an Alco S-series diesel switcher working one of the leads, and wisps of white smoke from steam engines working in the yard. The RIP track and car shops are visible on the right, and the leads to the roundhouse are present on the left (the roundhouse and its smokestack are visible on the left in the distance, with the ice house for servicing ice-cooled refrigerator cars nearby). The city water tower in New Toronto (still standing today) is visible off in the distance by Kipling Avenue, as is the old National Silicates plant in the distance on the right. The Oakville Sub mainline tracks originally ran past Mimico on the northernmost edge of the yard (hidden on the far right beyond the yard tracks).

Mimico Yard, formerly CN's main west-end freight yard in the Toronto area at the time, has undergone many significant changes over the years. The transition from steam to diesel in the 50's made a lot of the old steam-era facilities redundant, and the Mimico roundhouse was demolished in parts between 1965-1969 (the old coal tower managed to survive into the 80's however). The most notable was when CN opened its new Toronto Yard (later renamed MacMillan Yard) north of the city in Concord/Maple, shifting much of its freight yard operations there and vacating a good chunk of Mimico Yard on the north side to allow government-owned commuter agency GO Transit to establish its base of operations out of the old CN car shop buildings, forming the start of Willowbrook Yard (more modern maintenance facilities were constructed on-site and opened in 1980). Also changed around the same time, the Oakville Sub mainlines were re-aligned right through the middle of the yard (cutting right through the middle of this image), and the former mainlines removed except for a service track to switch customers along the north side of the yard. Much of the yard tracks on the left were also removed for a new freight shed on the south-east side built around 1968.

Another significant change was when VIA moved from its Spadina roundhouse & yard facilities in downtown Toronto to their new Toronto Maintenance Centre in the mid-80's, built in Mimico Yard on the south side of the mainline, on the site of the old ice house. Over time as local customers dwindled and passenger services expanded, GO Transit and VIA Rail have taken over more and more of Mimico Yard. Today CN only occupies a small portion along the south side by New Toronto Street, used by locals for servicing the remaining freight customers in the area.

A similar present-day view can be had looking west off the Islington Avenue overpass, that was built to the west of the car shops over the middle of the yard around the early 1980's.

More Mimico images:
The Mimico coal tower and CNR Northern 6167: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=26895
Mimico Roundhouse ready tracks teaming with steam engines: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=15340
CNR 6201 stored at Mimico awaiting scrapping: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=29996
First-generation diesel power at the east end of Mimico: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=18441

Photographer:
Bill Thomson [462] (more) (contact)
Date: 1954 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: Not Provided
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CN Mimico Yard - CN Oakville Sub (search)
City/Town: Mimico (Toronto) (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=32164
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2 Comments
  1. What an amazing picture! I was not even born yet, but its hard to believe the size of Mimico Yard back then. When I hired on in 1981 there was very little of the original yard here. Only the ice house a piggyback ramp and the old yard office remained.

  2. Beautiful shot but not much looks familiar except some of the peripheral buildings on the south.
    Rail was certainly the dominant mode of transportation in 54. Box cars galore!

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