The Canadian Pacific Railroad has a rich history. Its development facilitated the growth and dispersion of many early settlements. It equipped these communities with the tools to export and import key resources.
The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre exhibits relics from the early 1900s. It investigates Sudbury’s mining and lumber industries and how the railroad affected its prosperity.
A Brief Historical Overview
Between 1881 and 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railroad expanded across the North. In 1883, the first few trains arrived in Sudbury. Shortly after, the town became the railway’s regional headquarters as it connected lines from the West to the US border.
Although later replaced as the headquarters, Sudbury remained an important destination. The land around the tracks developed into thriving subdivisions. Many miners lived in these homes, who later discovered large deposits of ore and nickel. Both these minerals became major exports along the railway.
By 1921, Sudbury grew to 8,600 residents, becoming one of the largest Canadian communities. By this time, two transcontinental railways passed through the area. As well, many highways joined the town to neighbouring municipalities, fueling its growth further.
About the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre
The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre became a non-profit in 1993. Tourists can visit the museum in Capreol, a district of the Greater Sudbury Area. The train exhibit is in the former Canada Pacific Railroad superintendent’s home. The information centre is separate, managed in the Capreol Fire Hall since 2012. Both buildings are nearly a century old and bear great significance to the town.
At the museum, visitors can see four locomotives, six pieces of rolling stock, and various mining cars, handcars, and speeders. The exhibit stays open all week from 10am to 4pm between May and August. Admission is free for children under 12 and $10 for adults. Other discounts for seniors and students may apply.