Beltline Railway

Beltline Railway followed stretches of both Yellow Creek and Mud Creek. A 1984 City of Toronto planning report describes how a group of Toronto businessmen formed The Toronto Belt Line Company in 1889, planning to develop land in the surrounding suburbs. They dreamed of a commuter railway that would connect new areas to the north with the then rapidly expanding city. Their fantasy was nourish by the booming real estate market in the late 1880’s which had culminated in the annexation of Riverdale, Rosedale, the Annex, Sunnyside and Parkdale. The investors expected the new suburbs to develop rapidly, and believed that businessmen and shoppers preferred to travel downtown by rail, so the company forged ahead and commenced operations in July 1892. The route was served by frequent steam trains and the fare between any two stops on the line was set at twenty-five cents. Unfortunately, the depression of 1893 slowed the development of new communities and the real estate boom collapsed. Another factor was the success of Sir William Mackenzie’s Toronto Street Railway, in siphoning off much of the traffic. It was faster, provided more direct routes to downtown, and connected with the radial lines. With few customers and rising debts, The Toronto Belt Line Company failed in 1894 after only 28 months in operation. The stations and track, where not used by other lines were abandoned.

Forest Hill Station was located west of Bathurst. Fairbanks Station was at Dufferin St. The best known was south of Moore Avenue seen in the picture. Others were at Eglinton Avenue; north of Upper Canada College, and at Yonge Street. Eventually the line between the Junction and Mount Pleasant Road became a CNR spur line, which was only closed with the construction of the Allen Expressway in the early 1970’s. The Beltline east of the expressway, which runs through residential districts, was purchased by the City in 1990, and is now the Kay Gardner Beltline Park, named for the councillor most responsible for the creation of this park.

Beltline Picture Gallery

Moore Ave. Station

July 1968 Beltline west of Avenue Rd.

August 1968

October 1975

March 1979 Along Frobisher