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Museum (MIW) Railways on Industry

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Influence of Railways on Industry

In the early 19th century most of Ontario’s large industrial centres were located on water, as ships were the most reliable means of transportation. The government of the time spent money on improving harbours and creating canals, not improving roads that would have helped farmers and industry in the interior. It was not until the advent of the railways that land-locked settlements like Woodstock could really begin to grow. 

Great Western Railway Station, 1867C
Great Western Railway Station, 1867C

The sod was turned for the first important railway system in Ontario on October 23, 1847. Shortly after noon on December 15, 1853, the first stream-driven train arrived in Woodstock on the Great Western Railway line (which later became the Canadian National Railway). By the 1890s, Woodstock could boast two more rail lines: the Canadian Pacific and the Lake Huron & Port Dover Railway, which linked Woodstock to the Great Lakes System. The railways that served Woodstock provided a complete network of services to all points that a manufacturer could desire to reach with his product, as well as bringing in raw material and cheap labour.

Grand Trunk Railway Station and Train Engine 141, 1900
Grand Trunk Railway Station and Train Engine 141, 1900

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© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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