C.N.Rys. Aurora

Station: Aurora, a.k.a. Machell's CornersAurora (formerly Machell's Corners) appears on ca. 1853-06 map and the accompanying text states that the name change occurred after the coming of the railway[McIntyre-1988, p. 10]. 1854 (perhaps 1854-01-01) is documented elsewhere[Gillham-1975, p. 122; RSR-13].
Subdivision: Newmarket
Mileage: 29.95
Symbols: WOriginally from a water tank, which was supplied by the town waterworks[GTR.ND.1907, p. 12] with two standpipes: mileages 29.89 and 29.98. It has not been determined when the water tank was removed.
Train Order: DNTrain Order history:
Date Office Signals Train Order
1914-09-20/1925-09-27 UO DN
1929-09-29/1951-06-24 UO T
1951-08-26/1960-06-26 UO DN
1963-10-25/1975-04-27 UO *
1975-10-26 ...
*After 1962-10-28, train order offices in time tables were indicated by office signals.
Office Signals: UO
Sidings: 43 Sidings history:
Date* Sidings
1915-06-27/1919-12-28 57
1925-09-27 50
1929-09-29 49
1935-09-29/1938-01-09 48
1940-09-29/1942-09-27 46
1944-09-03/1958-06-22 43
1959-10-25/1974-10-27 36
1974-04-28/1974-10-27 36/1800'
1975-04-27/1976-10-31 36/1650'
1977-04-24/1999-04-26 1650'
1992-10-25/1998-07-01 1350'
2001-08-01 ...
*Capacity of sidings/passing tracks does not appear in GTRS time tables before 1915-06-27.
(M29.58 to M30.04)
Other Tracks: 33 Other Tracks history:
Date* Other Tracks
1929-09-29 48
1935-09-29 36
1937-04-25 37
1938-01-09 36
1940-09-29/1951-06-24 37
1951-08-26/1985-06-01 33
1951-08-26/1985-06-01 33
1985-10-27 ...
*Capacity of other tracks does not appear in CNR time tables before 1926-06-27.
  • Team Track: NS.27, (M29.63 to M30.02 off Siding); freight shed, grain storage, grain elevator, coal shed;
  • Back Track: S.6 (M29.75 off Team track); coal sheds, cattle ramp, scales;
  • Chicken Siding: Frontenac Oil Company Limited, Highland Oil Company: S.? (M29.75); and
  • Aurora Flour & Feed Mill: S.4 (M29.95 off Team Track).
Location: Show in Google Maps 135 Wellington Street
Aurora
(York County, Whitchurch Township)
HSMBC Report: RSR-13
Designation / Year: Positive / 1990
Date Event
1852 Station designed by Frederic W. CumberlandThis statement is based on similar stations being built at Concord, King, Newmarket, Holland Landing and Lefroy[Brown-2002, p. 114]. It is reasonable to assume that the Ontario, Simcoe & Huron Union Railroad (OS&HURR) would use a standard plan. Frederic W. Cumberland is identified as the architect of this station type on King station plaque..
1853-01-05 OS&HURR operates excursion from Toronto to Machell's Corners for Board of Directors with Chief and Assistant Engineers[The North American (Toronto), 1853-01-07, p. 2].
1853-01-11/1853-01-20 OS&HURR tenders construction of depot[The Globe (Toronto), 1853-01-11, p. 3].
1853-05-16 Inaugural run of the OS&HURR from Toronto to Machell's Corners (now Aurora)[Mika-1978, p. 31; RSR-13, Smith-1956, p. 33; Stevens-1960, p. 398; Trout-1970, p. 106; Walker-1953, p. 1; Willmot-1984 p. 3].
1854-01-01 Charles Doan changes the hamlet from Machell's Corners to Aurora[Unknown].
1860-09-10 NRC operates special train for His Royal Majesty, Albert, Prince of Wales, which stops in Aurora to "wood up"Northern Railway of Canada, Special Time Table, September 10th, 1860 indicates that the train was scheduled to stop for wood at Aurora at 9:47[Walker-1953, p. 8].. Aurora is specially commended for the skillful decoration of the station[The New Era (Newmarket), 1860-09-14, p. ?; Walker-1953, p. 52].
1870 N.Ry. of C. constructs 24'×28' "switchman's house", which is not listed in the ca. 1907 G.T.Ry. inventory[GTR.ND.1907, 153].
1872 14'-4"×24'-4"×12' wood frame with shingle roof "oil house" constructed[GTR.ND.1907, p. 153].
1874-06-29 Fire destroys the Roadmaster's storehouse, section houses and carpenters' shop but the Aurora Fire Company saves the wood yard and station[The Daily Globe (Toronto), 1874-06-30, p. 1].
1874-07-09 N.Ry. of C. operates special train carrying Aurora firemen, family and friends for an excursion to Niagara[The Daily Globe (Toronto), 1874-07-10, p. 1].
1875 N.Ry. of C. constructs coal shed: 12'-4"×32'×8' wood frame, board roof[GTR.ND.1907, p. 153].
1877 N.Ry. of C. constructs 12'-4"×30'-6"×38' wood frame, shingle roof "lime house"[GTR.ND.1907, p. 153].
1895-07-24 Arson attempted on GTR freight sheds[The Evening Star (Toronto), Wednesday August 28, 1895, p. 2, c. 3].
1895-08-19 G.T.Ry. freight sheds at Aurora destroyed by arson at a loss of $5,000[The Evening Star (Toronto), Tuesday August 20, 1895, p. 1 & Wednesday August 21, 1895, p. 4, c. 2].
1895-10-21 G.T.Ry. begins construction of second station at Aurora[Banner (Aurora), Friday October 25, 1895, p. xx], which is a duplicate of the one constructed Alvinston in ca. 1893.
1896 14'-4"×18'-4"×8' wood frame with shingle roof "section tool house" constructed[GTR.ND.1907, p. 153].
1896-01-17c G.T.Ry. opens second station Aurora [Newmarket Era, January 17, 1896] but the town is less than pleased with the results[The Banner (Aurora), Friday August 21, 1896].
1900-01c G.T.Ry. removes maple trees from Aurora station grounds to ornament those at Penetanguishene[Aurora Banner, Friday January 19, 1900].
1900-01-26 G.T.Ry. announces that a new passenger station will be built at Aurora[Aurora Banner, Friday January 26, 1900]
1900-02-19 G.T.Ry. begins construction of third (present) station[Aurora Banner, Friday, February 23, 1900, The Globe (Toronto), Friday, February 23, 1900, p. 1].
1900-05-07 G.T.Ry. opens third (present) station[Aurora Banner, Friday May 11, 1900]. The second station became the freight shedBased on the dimensions of the freight shed and those of the second station, which are identical, as well as ca. 1960 photographs. The ca. 1907 GTR inventory[GTR.ND.1907, p. 153] indicates that the freight shed was constructed in 1895, which is the same year that the station was constructed. The practice of reusing passenger stations as the freight shed was quite common (e.g., Creemore[Cooper-2001, p. 282; Wilson-1998, p. 103], Milton[Cooper-2001, p. 262])..
1930c/1942-09-15 C.N.Rys. replaces G.T.Ry. train order signal with semaphore (based on photos).
1925-09-29 All switching movements over first public crossing [Wellington Street] north of station, must be flagged. [CNR.CR.SWOD.AD.9, p. 7]
1931-08-11 The Toronto Daily Star reports that Newmarket and Aurora commuters seek gasoline electric coach service on C.N.Rys. on account of no T&Y streetcar service north of Richmond Hill[The Toronto Daily Star, Tuesday, August 11, 1931, p. 18, c. 5].
1942-09-15/1953-05-16 C.N.Rys. alters west (track) façade north (left) of operators bay window by removing window and door and adding what appears to be a freight door (based on photos). It is likely that the general (north) waiting room was used for express shipments and that the women's (south) waiting room became a general waiting room.
1952-09-29 Two freight cars on the siding at Aurora roll onto the mainline and run to Bradford before they are halted [U.C.R.S. Newsletter No. 82]
1953-05-16 Aurora celebrates 100th anniversary of O.S. & H.U.Rd.'s inaugural run and C.N.Rys. operates Railway Museum Train[Toronto Daily Star, Saturday May 16, 1953, p. 2; The Aurora Banner, May 21, 1953; Brown-2002, p. 178].
1953-05-17/1956-07-23 C.N.Rys. adds restrooms to north waiting room and alters west (track) façade north (left) of bay window by removing the freight door and adding a 36 in door (based on photos). A ca. 1970 drawing shows that the office was expanded into the former men's waiting room and a telegraph office in the east side of the former women's (south) waiting roomThe existence of restrooms is evident by the soil stacks on the roof that appear in a July 23, 1956 photo[Wilson-1998, p. 40]. The restrooms are shown on a ca. 1970 drawing[RSR-13, Figure 21]..
1954-10-15 Train no. 45 (Toronto to Midland) stranded at Aurora after Hurricane Hazel washes out track to the north and south. Unable to take on water from the standpipes, the Aurora Fire Department resorted to pumping ditch water into the tender[The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Saturday, October 16, 1954, p. 2 & Saturday, October 18, 1954, p. 14].
1957 C.N.Rys. adds a 30' addition to the south end due to increased business from Sterling DrugsBased on [Wilson-1998, p. 41], which is set on June 25, 1954, states that [i]n three years...the railway will construct an addition. Note that this is at odds with 1930 date stated elsewhere[Brown-2002, p. 20; RSR-13] but the extension is clearly not evident in a May 16, 1953 photos (e.g., [Wilson-2007, p. 52]. Furthermore, the station is 70' long on a ca. 1947 CNR property plan[Wilson-1998, p. 41] and 100' on a ca. 1960 insurance map[Underwriters Survey Bureau Limited].). The gable on the south end was not reproduced (based on photos).
1960 C.N.Rys. "insulbricks" station.
1963-07-06 U.C.R.S. sponsors steam excursion train from Toronto to Aurora in honour of the town's centennial. Two trips were made from Aurora to Bradford before the train returned to Toronto[Derek Boles—correspondence].
1975-04-27/1975-10-26 Train Order office closes[CNR.GLR.TA.86 & CNR.GLR.RTA.1]. The train order semaphore was removed prior to ca. 1983.
1980/1983 GO Transit renovations add 36 in. door to north façade (based on photos).
1986-06-01 Bradford Fertilizer and Chemical Company: M30.0 (off Service Track), S.6 appears in time table[CNR.GLD.54, p. 131].
1986-10-26 Bradford Fertilizer and Chemical Company absent from time table[CNR.GLD.55, p. 131].
1988-12-29 CNR ordered to improve Wellington Street crossing by installation of short arm gates and constant warning time control within nine months[CTA Order No. 1988-R-1245].
1992 GO Transit renovations restore exterior of station to a near GTR era appearance. The north façade is most faithful to the original. A door on the east façade replaces a window. The west façade more closely resembles its ca. 1956 appearance, except that the door south (right) of the bay window and baggage room doors are not present; however, the telltale trim above the window can be used to determine the original location of the doors and windows on the west façade. The south façade bears no resemblance to any prior appearance of the station. It is said that the current colours are true to the station's original appearance[RSR-138; Canadian Rail, No. 485, November-December 2001, p. 217].
1992-07-01 Official opening of renovated station.
Date Image Notes
1910c Click to Enlarge
A&DHS 987.15.2
JPS collection
TRL/CPCC Acc. PC-ON 66
Postcard view of GTR station showing north and west (track) elevations of from train and water tower south of station. Some postcards were printed reverse image. JPS collection postcard: G.T.R. Station, Aurora, Ont., Published for M. Forsyth, Aurora 3522. Canadian Souvenir Post Card, Warwick Brothers & Rutter Ltd., Publishers Toronto. Postally unused.
1910c
JPS collection
(since donated to A&DHS)
Hand coloured postcard view of south and west (track) elevations of GTR station. Also shows hotel north of station. It appears as though someone as taken a highlighter to Aurora station sign.
1910c
JPS collection
Black & white version of postcard above. Published by The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. Ltd., Montréal and Toronto. Printed in Great Britain. (No. 601.005) Postmarked Aurora, April 9, 1913.
1910c
A&DHS 992.16
JPS collection
Postcard view north and west (track) elevations of GTR station from track level. Published by Herrington & Son, Photos, Trenton. Postmarked Aurora, August 28 [year illegible].
1910c
A&DHS 988.14.7
South elevation of GTR station from platform level.
1910c Click to Enlarge
JPS collection
Postcard view of Siesman Shoe factory taken from GTR water tower. The grain shed roof appears in the lower right of the photograph. Canadian Souvenir Post Card, Warwick Brothers & Rutter Ltd., Publishers, Toronto. Postally unused.
1910c Click to Enlarge
JPS collection
Postcard view of Siesman Shoe Co. Factory showing east (Berzcy Street) and north (Mosley Street) elevations. Photogelatine Engraving Co. Limited, Ottawa. Postally unused.
1927-07-21 Image Not Available
NAPL RA-18-2
Aerial photo of Aurora.
1930c
A&DHS
West (track) elevation of CNR station from platform level. Vern Arnold, Alfred M. Clark (agent) and Dave Mathers.
1942-09-15 Image Not Available
Alf Cloverdale photo, Dave Shaw collection
West (track) elevation of CNR station from platform level.
1946-07-03 Image Not Available
NAPL A10102-3
Aerial photo of Aurora.
1953-05-16 Image Not Available
York University Archives, Box 489, File 3216
South and west (track) elevation of CNR station from roof of freight shed.
1953-05-16
CSTM CN Image No. 38380-2
View looking north along team track towards grain sheds and station. Crowd is visiting the CNR Museum train.
1953-05-16
A&DHS 993.6
North and west (track) elevations of CNR station from train.
1953-05-16
Ian Wilson collection
South and west (track) elevation of CNR station from track level. Also shows shed east of station.
1954c Click to Enlarge
JPS collection
Consolidation N-4-A No. 2659 (MLW 1908, GTR 629) works Stivers Bros., which has leased the freight shed. The photo has been dated by Ian Wilson based on: 1) boxcar behind the locomotive has a National Steel Car end and a Superior door, a combination which was first ordered by CNR in Sept. 1952; and 2) locomotive has painted on rather than the raised numerals, which it received in Nov. 1955.
1955-07-05 Image Not Available
NAPL A14740-12
Aerial photo of Aurora.
1956-07-23
John Freyseng photo
North and west (track) elevations of CNR station from track level. Also shows part of Stiver Bros., which has leased the freight shed.
1960c
A&DHS
South elevation of station and east (track) elevation of Stiver Brothers Coal & Grain Dealers (former second station).
1960c
A&DHS
North and west (rear) elevation of Stiver Brothers Coal & Grain Dealers (former second station).
1960c
A&DHS
South and west (rear) elevations of grain shed.
1963-07-06
A&DHS
View of north and west (track) elevations of station, perhaps taken from Aurora Feed and Flour Mill. Northern 6167 is leading a UCRS steam excursion train in honour of Aurora's centennial. Two trips were made from Aurora to Bradford before the train returned to Toronto[Derek Boles—correspondence].
1965c
A&DHS
Dismantling of freight shed (former second station).
1970c
A&DHS
South and east elevations of Bradford Fertilizer (formerly Aurora Flour & Feed Mills).
1970c Image Not Available
Elizabeth A. Willmot photo
North and west (track) elevations of CNR station.
1971
CIHB
North-west elevation of station.
1971
CIHB
East elevation of station.
1971
CIHB
North part of east elevation of station.
1979-06-03
Brian Ottaway photo, JPS collection
North and west elevations of station.
1989
Martha Phemister photo
North elevation of station.
1989
Martha Phemister photo
West elevation of station.
1989
Martha Phemister photo
Operators bay.
1989
Martha Phemister photo
Interior of station.
1992
A.M. de Fort-Menares photo
East (rear) elevation of station during renovations.
1992-07 Image Not Available
A&DHS 992.21
Daughter of former agent (station master).
1992/2001 Image Not Available
Ron Brown photo
North and west (track) elevations of GO Transit station.
Date Reference Railway Subject Description
1853-06 [McIntyre-1988, p. 10] n.a. Aurora. Shows railway depot in approximate location of present station. A turntable is shown at the corner of Wellington and Berczy streets, west of main track.
1870-06-04 NAC/NMC 96472 NRC Switchman's house. Ground and general plans. Front and side elevations. Section.
1878 [McIntyre-1988, p. 13] n.a. Aurora. Shows railway depot in approximate location of present station. A turntable is shown at the corner of Wellington and Berczy streets, west of main track.
1885-07 NAC/NMC 38539 n.a. Aurora. Charles E. Goad, C.E. insurance map. Key plan shows approximately 25'×85' depot on west side of tracks at Centre St.; this is believed to be a fire depot.
1895 J.P. Smith G.T.Ry. Second station.
1895-09-24 NAC/NMC96466
[Canadian Rail, No. 485, p. 217]
G.T.Ry. Second station. Plan. Section. Elevation. Door detail.
1896 NAC/NMC 198808 G.T.Ry. Track plan. 1"=50'
1900 J.P. Smith G.T.Ry. Third station.
1947-10 C.N.Rys. Track plan
1960-05 Underwriters Survey Bureau, Limited Fire Insurance map.
1989 J.P. Smith C.N.Rys. Third station.