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Built on 1000 acres of Vaughan Township farmland in the early-mid 1960's (between the communities of Concord and Maple), CN's new automated freight classification yard officially opened on May 17th 1965 as Toronto Yard (even though it was located north of the city in Vaughan). An early pamphlet notes it featured 158 miles of track, 561 switches, and handled daily classification of 5000 cars. It was part of a plan hatched in 1959 for a "Toronto bypass" to divert freight traffic out of busy downtown Toronto, and to a new modern freight yard to the north of the city in what was then rural countryside. In addition to the classification tracks and multiple humps, it featured a modern diesel servicing shop, a car shop, and facilities for express and LCL freight, piggyback, intermodal, livestock, lumber, reefer icing, and steel handling (some of these were added at later dates, others since removed).  Toronto Yard was eventually renamed to MacMillan Yard in 1975, after former CN president Norman J. MacMillan.

Pictured here is a March 1967 view of Toronto Yard's Main Classification Yard "C" (made up of 67 tracks), looking south from the Dual Control Tower near the north end of the yard. The ballast and tracks are still nicely "manicured", and filled with the usual 1960's assortment of freight cars, including 40' boxcars, stock cars, ice reefers, and three brightly-coloured BAR boxcars. 

In the distance is the Local Classification Yard "L" (56 tracks) and its hump on the left, and the Car Maintenance Building shops and repair tracks in the distance in the center-right, built for the repair, servicing and cleaning of freight cars ("B" and "G" yards). Highway 7 lies beyond off in the distance, and trees and rural farmland surrounds the yard, all of which would eventually give way to warehouses and industrial parks in the decades that followed.

Original photographer unknown, Dan Dell'Unto collection slide.
Copyright Notice: This image ©unknown, Dan Dell'Unto coll. all rights reserved.



Caption: Built on 1000 acres of Vaughan Township farmland in the early-mid 1960's (between the communities of Concord and Maple), CN's new automated freight classification yard officially opened on May 17th 1965 as Toronto Yard (even though it was located north of the city in Vaughan). An early pamphlet notes it featured 158 miles of track, 561 switches, and handled daily classification of 5000 cars. It was part of a plan hatched in 1959 for a "Toronto bypass" to divert freight traffic out of busy downtown Toronto, and to a new modern freight yard to the north of the city in what was then rural countryside. In addition to the classification tracks and multiple humps, it featured a modern diesel servicing shop, a car shop, and facilities for express and LCL freight, piggyback, intermodal, livestock, lumber, reefer icing, and steel handling (some of these were added at later dates, others since removed). Toronto Yard was eventually renamed to MacMillan Yard in 1975, after former CN president Norman J. MacMillan.

Pictured here is a March 1967 view of Toronto Yard's Main Classification Yard "C" (made up of 67 tracks), looking south from the Dual Control Tower near the north end of the yard. The ballast and tracks are still nicely "manicured", and filled with the usual 1960's assortment of freight cars, including 40' boxcars (with no shortage of noodles), stock cars, ice reefers, and three brightly-coloured BAR boxcars.

In the distance is the Local Classification Yard "L" (56 tracks) and its hump on the left, and the Car Maintenance Building shops and repair tracks in the distance in the center-left, built for the repair, servicing and cleaning of freight cars ("B" and "G" yards). Highway 7 lies beyond off in the distance, and trees and rural farmland surrounds the yard, all of which would eventually give way to warehouses and industrial parks in the decades that followed.

Original photographer unknown, Dan Dell'Unto collection slide.

Photographer:
unknown, Dan Dell'Unto coll. [926] (more) (contact)
Date: Circa March 1967 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: Not Provided
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CN Toronto Yard (MacMillan Yard) (search)
City/Town: Vaughan (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 50063

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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5 Comments
  1. Not a container in sight! And look at those livestock cars!

  2. Containers at mac yard are rare to non existent to this day. I don’t recall seeing any.

  3. Oh my……The number of miles I walked on those tracks. COnport would be built behind and to the left of the photographer….at least that’s where is was in 1981. Containers soon moved out of there to BIT…now also full to overflowing.

    A great yard to work, except for some of the curves at the bottom of the collection tracks. Coupling autoracks there was a nightmare.

  4. Great view “C” Yard. The metal covers on the outside of the rail at the switch points house the burner tubes for “open flame” propane snow melters. Dave you are correct on Conport location, later used for ECO-Rail and Triple-Crown service.

  5. Great shot, she’s a far cry from how it appears now. That ballast looks almost pleasant to walk on compared to todays substrate.

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