Northern Railway of Canada
The railway was designed to link the 3 lakes for which it was originally named - the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway. It opened in May 1853 when the locomotive Toronto (made in Toronto) hauled the first steam train in present-day Ontario from Toronto to Machell's Corners (present-day Aurora). The line was soon extended to Bradford and Allandale and by 1855 the entire stretch to COLLINGWOOD was completed, including a branch to Lake SIMCOE. The railway made Collingwood a prosperous transshipment point from the midwestern US and tapped the rich timber reserves of Simcoe County. It was largely responsible for the hegemony that TORONTO managed to establish over the northern hinterland, but was a financial failure itself. On the verge of bankruptcy, it was reorganized in 1858 as the Northern Railway of Canada. Branches were built from Collingwood to Meaford (1872), Allandale to Gravenhurst (1875), and eventually to Huntsville and North Bay. It merged with the Hamilton and North Western Railway (1879) and was taken over by the GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY in 1888, later becoming part of the CN system.