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The Toronto and York Radial Railway arch – An odd structure in the middle of Newmarket

November 2019

In the middle of Newmarket, Ontario, sits an odd looking arch structure crossing over the Holland River. This structure was once a part of early public transportation system in the Greater Toronto Area.

Built in 1909 by the Toronto and York Radial Railway (T&YRR) Company, this reinforced concrete arch was built as a trestle bridge support for the Metropolitan Line running to Sutton, where it crossed the Holland River in Newmarket.

Spanning 50 feet, with a height of 23 feet, the arch was one of the earliest arches of its type in Canada.

The beginnings of the line date back to 1884, when the Metropolitan Street Railway Company was given a contract to provide a light-rail transit service along Yonge Street, pulled by horses, from St. Claire Avenue northward to the Toronto-York County Border. Named the Metropolitan Line, it was electrified in 1891.

The beginnings of the line date back to 1884, when the Metropolitan Street Railway Company was given a contract to provide a light-rail transit service along Yonge Street, pulled by horses, from St. Claire Avenue northward to the Toronto-York County Border. Named the Metropolitan Line, it was electrified in 1891.

A further agreement in 1894 saw the line extended through Newmarket to Jackson’s Point on Lake Simcoe, a process that was finally completed in 1910. This final leg was completed by the Toronto and York Radial Railway (T&YRR), which had acquired the line in 1904.

In 1922, the City of Toronto acquired the T&YRR, contracting the operation of the four T&YRR lines to Ontario Hydro. The Metropolitan Line was turned over to the Toronto Transportation Commission in 1927 and re-named the Lake Simcoe Line, but its days were numbered.

The growing popularity of the automobile and improvement in the road system north of Toronto led to a drop in ridership on the line. As a result, the TTC ceased operation of the Lake Simcoe Line on 15 March 1930.

The trestle over the Holland River was demolished, leaving the arch behind as a lonely monument to this former transportation line.

The arch was designated for preservation in 1979 by the Town of Newmarket and the South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority and today, it serves as a monument to our railway transportation heritage.

Sources: http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_York17.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Street_Railway_(Toronto), https://hikingthegta.com/2016/09/11/toronto-york-radial-railway/?fbclid=IwAR2d2-jZ9D0gjCkDhN6ZokSXHCj2fdN4jHqqpYL0_0mGFSswmOlta9hIWl4, https://www.newmarkettoday.ca/remember-this/remember-this-radial-railway-from-toronto-to-jacksons-point-flourished-until-1930s-1134606, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Street_Railway_(Toronto)https://www.newmarkettoday.ca/remember-this/remember-this-radial-railway-from-toronto-to-jacksons-point-flourished-until-1930s-1134606.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/the-toronto-and-york-radial-railway-arch-an-odd-structure-in-the-middle-of-newmarket/

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