A Guide to Ottawa's Railway Heritage

In 1987 I wrote a small booklet which was published by the Bytown Railway Society.  The items included were those that were no longer used by the railway for their originally intended purpose (although some stations still in railway use have been included).  Artifacts maintained in museums or private collections were generally excluded although the building itself might be included.  Preserved rolling stock such as locomotives and cabooses was also excluded because this is covered in the annual publication of the society, the Trackside Guide.

The area covered is roughly 160 km radius from Ottawa-Gatineau although this is not a rigid distinction.  It has occasionally been difficult to describe a location.  The artifacts were originally located by reference to the provincial highway maps. However, with the advent of GPS, Google Maps, Earth and Streetview as well as smart phones and cameras it is now possible to do a much better job of pinpointing the items listed.  As time and information permits the GPS coordinates will be added with hot links that will take you straight to Google Maps.

The digital version has presented some additional challenges compared to the 1987 printed version.  It is now possible to add pictures but this has increased the length of some of the lists.  A certain amount of juggling of the items has been required.  All the information has been included but occasionally in different groupings.

Part 2 of the original publication contained a listing of significant dates in Ottawa Railway History.  This has been greatly expanded and can be found at  Significant Dates in Ottawa Railway History. Similar information for the streetcar network can be found at Significant Dates in Ottawa/Hull Street and Light Railway History.

The artifacts are listed in the following order:

Buildings, including Enginehouses
- This covers a pot pourri of items from roadmasters' houses to shim shacks and freight sheds.  
This also includes former enginehouses, workshops and street railway car barns are included here but not the sites where there is nothing to see.
Equipment - Pieces of rolling stock such as car bodies as well as parts such as locomotive bells. I have excluded preserved items that are shown in the Canadian Trackside Guide, the annual publication of the Bytown Railway Society.
Stations - Includes shelters.
  Stations in Ontario
  Stations in Quebec
Structures - In this section are listed items such as bridges and culverts relating to the track structure, also water tanks.
  Structures in Ontario
  Structures in Quebec
Poles, Rails and Track Components - There are a number of old streetcar wire support poles still in use, and old rails have been used in a number of cases. Other examples of track components are listed here.
Trails - In this section are listed parts of abandoned railway rights of way which have been turned into recreational trails


A word of caution.  Many of the items listed are easily accessible.  Others are difficult to find because they are hidden away in the bush or are on private property. The fact that they may be listed here is no open sesame and you should ask permission before entering any private property.  Unless you know otherwise you should assume that all property is private  You should also use caution even when photographing an object from a public area.  People may not wish strangers to photograph their homes without an explanmation.


      B&P  Bytown and Prescott Railway
      BQR  Bay of Quinte Railway
BWSSM  Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway
B&NYB  Brockville and New York Bridge Company
      CAR  Canada Atlantic Railway
      CCR  Canada Central Railway
        CN  Canadian National Railways
    CNoR  Canadian Northern Railway
         CP  Canadian Pacific Railway
         GN  Great Northern of Canada Railway
          GT   Grand Trunk Railway
     HER   Hull Electric Railway
     K&P   Kingston and Pembroke Railway
    M&O   Montreal and Ottawa Railway
     NYC   New York Central Railway
OA&PS   Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway
      OER   Ottawa Electric Railway
        PPJ   Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway
        QG   Quebec Gatineau Railway
  QMOO  Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway
   StL&O  St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway
   TNVR   Thurso and Nation Valley Railway

Sources of Information

The original document forms the basis of this work but this is now almost 30 years out of date. Additional information has been taken from Bruce Ballantyne's Canadian Railway Station Guide published by the Bytown Railway Society.
A valuable source of information on Ontario stations is Rob Hughes' Railway Stations of Ontario at:
Members of the Ottawa Railway History Circle have provided much information and encouragement and there has been a great amount of input from others including.
Paul Anderson
Paul Bown
Paul Churcher
Les Goodwin

Jeff Hill
Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario
Earl Roberts
Ben Vanden Belt
Malcolm Vant

If you find anything in here that needs correction, amendment or addition please let me know.

Updated 3  September 2020