|F1 SIDE TRAIL, WAITING ROOM, TORONTO RADIAL
LINE, east side of Yonge St. at entrance to
Cricklewood Park. Stop 17 housed passengers waiting for the
electric radial streetcar which would take them north to Richmond
Hill. Established by the Toronto and York Railway Company in 1896,
the Line was in operation until 1948. This shelter, for decades
located at the 14th hole of the Thornhill Country Club, has been
moved and refurbished as a joint project of the Lions' Club of
Thornhill and SPOHT. (See Plaque)
to view plaque and text.
Radial Railway Line
From Nov. 19, 1896 to Oct. 10, 1948, Thornhill's public
transportation needs were served by an electrically powered railway
commonly called the Radial, becasue it was one of many lines that
radiated out of Toronto to Mimico, Guelph, Woodbridge, Scarborough,
Schomberg, Sutton and Lake Simcoe.
Work on laying the northern line began on Mon. Oct. 26, 1896 under
the auspices of the Metropolitan Street Railway Co. They contracted
Carran and Hussey of Pittsburgh to build 16 kilometers of line to
Richmond Hill, from the existing line south of Hoggs Hollow. This
work was done by three separate crews, totalling over 300 workers,
at Willowdale, Thornhill, and Richmond Hill. They completed their
contract with three hours to spare.
On Nov. 19, the first radial car passed through Thornhill on its
way to Richmond Hill. Actually, the first car, with dignitaries,
was horsedrawn; as there were gaps in the overhead wiring.
The official opening was on Jan. 27, 1897 and regular service
started 5 days later, with four round trips daily. A one way trip
took 45 minutes, compared to the more than 3 hours on the earlier
John Thompson stagecoach. The fare was 25c. to the city limits. The
original coaches were dark green. Each car had a motorman and a
conductor dressed in charcoal grey uniforms with their rank in
brass letters on their cap. The car could be driven from either end
by changing the trolley pole. Each car was divided into two
compartments with one third of the car set aside for smokers.
The increased popularity of the automobile in the 1920's reduced
the need for public transportation and it was decided to shut down
the northern line. The TTC ran buses for a few months in March,
1930, and then North York, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Markham
combined their efforts to form the North Yonge Railway which was
run by the TTC until 1948. Car #416, currnetly at the Halton
Railway Museum, is the only surviving car from this period.
The Waiting Room was originally located on the west side of Yonge
at Royal Orchard. Sometime after 1930 it was moved to the Country
Club golf course where it served as a refreshment stop and a rain
shelter, until it was relocated, restored and moved to this
Nov. 2000, through the combined efforts of the Thornhill Lions
and the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill.
Erected by the Society for the Preservation of
Historic Thornhill, Oct. 2001.