leaside cpr station toronto

A majestic old Toronto train station just disappeared forever

A forgotten piece of Toronto history was just quietly erased, all to support construction work on the upcoming Ontario Line subway.

Located along an industrial stretch of rail tracks running just north of the Don Valley, a former railway station that once served commuters in the Leaside and Thorncliffe Park neighbourhoods has been demolished.

Unlike high-profile demolitions like Stollerys and the east Gardiner Expressway, the loss of the CPR Leaside station was met with little resistance or fanfare.

And now it's gone forever.

A station had existed at this site for almost 130 years, with The Canadian Pacific Railway first opening the first Leaside station all the way back in 1894.

That original station was destroyed by fire in the 1940s and was subsequently replaced by a modern, International Style train station in 1946.

Though the 1946 station remained in place for over 75 years, its architectural details were concealed over the years by unsympathetic renovations with little clue as to what was hiding behind the exterior siding.

In addition to its use as a commuter rail station, the building served a few different purposes before its ultimate demolition in 2022.

From 1975 to 1983, the structure housed the Canadian Pacific Hotel's Village Station restaurant — incorporating old train cars into its interior decor — before subsequent conversions to a freight accounting office, and later, a headquarters for the Canadian Pacific Police Service.

The final passenger train departed the Leaside CPR platform in 1982, but it would be another 40 years before the building's final death knell.

Metrolinx began demolition of the station back in June, with the former passenger terminal torn down to make way for construction of the Ontario Line maintenance and storage facility in Thorncliffe Park.

The former position of the lost railway station will eventually be occupied by painting and wheel truing areas supporting the new maintenance facility.

Lead photo by

Toronto Archives/James Victor Salmon

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