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John Street Roundhouse 90th birthday event, October 5

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The Toronto Railway Museum presents exhibits, tours, educational programs, and publications that broaden the understanding and appreciation of Toronto’s rich railway heritage, all from a central location of the John Street Roundhouse.

In its prime, the John Street locomotive facilities contained 43 structures and several miles of track and covered nearly 16 acres (.06 hectare). Only two auxiliary structures from the days when the Roundhouse was operating still stand in Roundhouse Park: the 60,000-gallon (227,000-litre) water tower beside the Steam Whistle Brewery and the 650-ton (660-tonne) concrete locomotive coaling tower near the intersection of Bremner Boulevard and Rees Street.

To celebrate 90 years of industry, heritage, community — and looking forward to the next 90 years — the museum is hosting a birthday celebration for the Roundhouse, Saturday, October 5, noon until 5 p.m., at 255 Bremner Boulevard.

This unique, one-day event is the Museum’s way of celebrating this birthday of historic proportions. Expect hands-on activities, learning opportunities, rides and tours:

  • Enjoy a ride on the historic turntable - it’s the longest in Canada.
  • Get an exclusive look at the restoration area and see how Museum volunteers make the locomotives and rolling stock look their best.
  • Participate in the 90 Year Scavenger Hunt and search the park for clues as you learn about the nine decades of the Roundhouse’s life.
  • Ride the miniature train around Roundhouse Park and imagine what the area looked like 90 years ago.
  • Enjoy birthday cake (while supplies last).

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Learn how the John Street Roundhouse was an eco-innovator for its time with historian Derek Boles. Derek’s presentations are fast-moving with hundreds of historic photographs, animations, maps and diagrams. He will be presenting two lectures at the event.

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  • Tickets are available on Eventbrite. You must buy your ticket before the event. Tickets are not available for sale at the venue.
  • Tickets are non-refundable, unless the organizers have cancelled the event.
  • After presenting their tickets at the venue, attendees will receive wristbands, giving them full access to the activities.
  • Adults - $17.70; children - $8.85.

  • This is an all ages, family-friendly event.
  • To celebrate the nine decades of the Roundhouse, visitors who are 9 or 90 years old are eligible for FREE admission. Proof of age is required at the door. Must be 9 or 90 years old by October 5 to be eligible.
  • A large portion of the event takes place outdoors, so dress appropriately for the weather and for walking over uneven ground.

The Toronto Railway Historical Association, a registered charitable organization, operates the Toronto Railway Museum. The John Street Roundhouse has housed the museum since 2010, with exhibits open year-round and seasonal miniature train ride and guided tours.

Getting there by public transit:

  • TTC Line 1 Yonge - University subway: The roundhouse is about a ten-minute walk westward from Union and St Andrew stations.
  • 504A / 504B King streetcar: Exit at John Street, then a ten-minute walk southward.
  • 509 Harbourfront streetcar: Exit at Rees Street, then a five-minute walk northward.
  • GO Transit and UP Express trains and GO buses to Union Station. Walk westward.


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