John Street Rooundhouse & Steam Whistle

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by RobertInOntario, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I heard this on the radio yesterday, as well as reading this article below. Has anyone else heard this?

    It would be great it Steam Whistle were successful in doing this. Just imagine the possibilities -- a downtown Toronto railway museum, locomotives shunting in and out of the Roundhouse, old diesel and steam railway trips from downtown Toronto! :):)

    This other article is also interesting ( No offense to Leons, but the writer is so correct -- we can come up with something so much better than turning it into a furniture store! :nope:

  2. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    The Toronto Railway Historical Association has been working on the museum idea for a number of years. The big holdup has been City politics (what else?), but they have always planned to use at least three bays for a museum, along with resurrecting the turntable and having outdoor displays, as well. If Steam Whistle succeeds, and keeps Leons out, that will be so much the better. I hope you locals make your voices known.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Wow. Stunning lack of creativity is a bit of an understatement. A Leon's? Really? Is this the best the city can come up with, given that Steam Whistle and the Heritage group put together a proposal on their own initiative?

    Is the rest of the railway lands to be given over to big box retail? I doubt much that a Leon's in this location is going to be a sufficient draw on its own. Can you imagine - "Let's go to SkyDome - oops, The Roger's Centre - to catch a ball game, and then pick up some side tables...!" hamr

  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    The Steam Whistle plan sure sounds good. Guess I'll keep cautiously optimistic. I'll try to write some letters to local politicians then!

    I know that I'd really be in my element if they ever did succeed! :mrgreen:

  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    When you think of it, how "Canadian" is this -- to put a furniture store into what could be a thriving Canadian heritage/tourist site! I guess I'll try to write letters to politicians and show my support by buying more Steam Whistle beer! :):) Rob
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The CTV story notes that while Adam Vaughan says that the Leon's proposal is symptomatic of "commodifying our history" and that Steam Whistle is also part of the problem...! Unbelievable!! There's a big difference - Steam Whistle is proposing to put up $10 MILLION of its own money to make the roundhouse into a museum. Adam - you really need to recognize who your allies are, and who the common enemy is - you're right it is not Leon's... it's the city, and the developers who made the decision with council's blessing. Talk about a conflict of interest!!

    Makes me very :mad: :curse:

    On the bright side- it looks like the Toronto Railway Historical Association is well organized and will not go down without a fight.

  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I agree totally -- you said it very well! I also raised my eyebrows at that comment by Adam. Based on what I know, I don't see how Steam Whistle could be blamed at all. I'm encouraged in that a sympathetic business is thinking of coming up with the money. Hopefully this business and the determined folks at TRHA will make this museum grow. Being a Torontonian, I'm pretty annoyed :curse: with our City Council these days!

  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    It seems that Steam Whistle can't do anything further and that a furniture store will move into the Roundhouse.

    I just heard this on CFRB1010 (and have found a similar web story here:

    So it sounds like it's a "done deal" & Leons will move into the Roundhouse. CFRB just inteviewed the president from Steam Whistle. Although he tried to sound positive (and was very articulate, clearly in favour of the RR museum & preserving its history) he was discouraged. :curse: It's very frustrating and discouraging, especially when SW still has its money on the table, hoping for things to improve.

  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I find it "interesting" that the corporation that took over the decision-making from the city is now described as leasing the space, and that they have made a deal that is in their best interest, rather than the city's / site's. How they arrived at the decision to reduce the museum space to 7500 sq ft from 30,000 is a bit of a mystery.

    Toronto is rapidly becoming like New York, where "lowest common denominator" development or exhorbinantly expensive development seem to be the only two options - both of which destroy the character of the city. Only one looks nicer than the other...

    It's too bad that Counc. Vaughan withdrew his motion. At least the development could have been mired in a bit of red tape for a while.

    If you can stomach more of this type of story, check out certain pages at Forgotten NY, such as My Flushing was gone. and the links to Queen's Crap.

  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Andrew. I guess I'll still try to be positive until I see Leons actually moving in. It sounds like there will be at least some space there for a museum. Maybe I can read more about this tonight. Still frustrating though. Rob
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I guess the good thing is that -- even under the Leons plan -- there STILL will be a railway museum in the Roundhouse, albeit a much smaller version.

    I always try to be optimistic -- the Steam Whistle plan sounded like a dream. I can't stop thinking about the possibilities if their plan succeeded!

  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    FYI, they're making exciting progress at the Roundhouse. It looks like the turntable is now installed, they're painting the diesel shunter very nicely, laid some more track and painting the roundhouse doors. See their website for more info.

    Toronto Railway Historical Association

    Cheers, Rob
  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Here in Cincinnati...
    I am pessimistic when the city gov't announces they'll be doing something...and then pleased when private business/corporations step in and fix things.

    It is miraculous that our Union Terminal still stands...although the concourse is gone. It survived by serving as a variety of things...including a mall...prior to becoming our museum center in the past 20 or so years.

    I'm glad that your roundhouse is safe. That would be cool if you could have a nice museum there too!

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