Best train-viewing locations in Toronto

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by RobertInOntario, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I'm wondering if anyone can recommend good train-viewing locations in and around Toronto ... are there any bridges or viewing spots where you can watch 1-2 lines in operation? Ideally, I'd like to find places that I can safely take by two sons to in the east end.

    We often go hiking in the Rouge Valley where we're treated to seeing a few CN freight trains. It would be great to find similar locations but where we might see more trains.

    When we visit family in England, we enjoy walking to a local train bridge where you can view a train about every 8 minutes! And it's usually a good mixture of passenger and freight.

    Thanks, Rob
  2. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    Lots of train activity around the CN tower,there is a small park on the east side of the tower that might be worth a try.A mile or so west of the tower is Fort York ,not sure of its viewing potential but its right on the mainlines..
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Jambo. I'll have to check that out, particularly that park. Rob
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'd go for the CN line just east of Pickering. At that point the Toronto avoiding line has just joined with the lakeshore line so you get all the trains that go east of Toronto. Only problem is that it's jammed up against the 401. There's another spot farther out where the CN and CP lines are nearly together, but that's past Oshawa.
    Downtown Toronto can be a bit of a bore -- midday you may only have 2 GO trains every hour. There are a number of bridges (even enclosed ones) over the west approaches to Union.
    West Toronto junction (Keele south of St Clair/ Dupont and Dundas) can have lots of activity, but the neighbourhood is dicey.
    For passenger ops, Queen/King near the Don river, where a bunch of subdivisions meet; check the VIA timetable.
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, David. I'll try the area east of Pickering. I think the area east of Oshawa is Newtonville & it's quite a ways east of Oshawa. I've heard that it's particularly good.

    Otherwise, the Queen/King area near the Don River sounds good. I'll certainly check that one out.

    BTW, there are a couple good viewing locations for GO Trains in the Don Valley. In the milder weather, I sometimes take my youngest son down there on my bicycle on the bike paths -- and it's fun watching the GO trains, but it seems to be one every 20-25 minutes or so (which means lots of waiting).

    Thanks again, Rob
  6. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    places to view trains in toronto area.
    if you want to make a short train trip with your son and walk, go to Mimico GO Station and walk towards Isington Ave , walk across the bridge, usually lots to see there over looking the yard.

    another good place is MacMillan Yards CN's north Toronto yard, between Keele and Jane Streets at old Highway 7, bridge over looking the yard right at the yard tower, great place to take pics at.
    There use tobe a donut shop at the keele street end of the bridge, you could park there and walk along the bridge and get donuts there to eat as you watch trains

    Union Station Skywalk is a good location, Bathurst Street bridge just west of Union Station, are some of my fav down town locations or just along the lake shore near high park
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    While you are in the vincinty of the CN Tower, go down the old roundhouse. You may not be able see trains directly from there anymore, but Dad can have a sample at the Steamwhistle Brewery while the kids wait for the next train... ;) :D

  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    I know it's not the east end, but Bayview Junction in Burlinginton/Hamilton is about the busiest piece of track in Canada. It's also very nice, from a scenic point of view, near the bay, next to the RBG woods. You'll get CN, CP, GO and VIA.

    If you take the QEW/403 to Burlington, take highway 6 north, and turn right at the first stoplights (Plains Rd. W), then follow that down to the next lights, turn left again, and then turn right into the RBG parking lot. There's a footbridge right over the tracks, you can hang around all day. The only downside is that you have to pay for parking.

    RBG is just up the road, and there's an IKEA at Fairview and the QEW if you need to drop somebody off for a couple of hours. ;)
  9. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Amen to Bayview Junction! And it's so easy to get there. It's right at the west end of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton/ Burlington and you aren't near the railway tracks. Lots of action going in all directions.

    For Eastern Ontario (if you happen to come this way), the VIA station in Brockville for CN trains, and the VIA station in Smiths Falls for CP trains.

    Of course, my favouritest spot in the whole of Canada is the 20 km between Lake Louise and Field, BC - the Kicking Horse Pass/ Spiral Tunnels.

    Bob M.
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    In recent years, there's been an open house ("Open Doors Toronto") at the end of May. The old roundhouse is open to the public, model live-steam locos are running outside and model train layouts are inside at the brewery. We went last year and it was really good. Plus, Steam Whistle was giving away free samples! Rob
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Bob. I thought about Bayview Junction. I was quite close to there yesterday but didn't know how to get there. Someday, when I have extra time, I'll go suss it out. Rob
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Squidbait. I'll make a point of going there maybe this spring. It sounds easy to get to and we could combine it with a hike or a shopping trip! I appreciate your sending the directions. Rob
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Rob: have you taken the kids through the wye on the subway yet? Weekends this month and part of next. I haven't had a chance and it's been 40 years since I was on it last; I don't think I'll be there in another 40.
    Make sure to ride all the way from Yonge to Spadina to get in all the rare mileage.
    I'll dig out the maps to see how to get to Bayview junction; not the one at the mouth of the Don. It's a trip to take the whole family on.
  14. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, David. No, we haven't ridden through the wye yet on the old subway route. That could make for a good trip in the near future.

    Squidbait has given directions to Bayview Junction so I think that will certainly be another good place to visit. It sounds like you can "camp out" for quite a while getting great views of the trains.

    Cheers, Rob
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Rob: I just found out today that TTC has completed their tunnel repairs and the wye operation has been suspended for another 40 years.
  16. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, David. That's too bad as it was sounding more intriguing all the time. Well, I'll be in my late-80s the next time they open it so it is feasible that I could have another chance !! Cheers, Rob

Share This Page