CPR Yards Heritage Site Plaque

Site P1:
CPR Yards Heritage Site Plaque
Location:
Downtown/Waterfront Underpass
Evaluation Score:
N/A

As the Canadian Pacific Railway reached what was to become North Bay in 1882, the area became a crucial junction point between east and west rail traffic. In 1901, the CPR made North Bay the District Divisional headquarters. Subsequently, the repair shops began to dominate the North Bay waterfront.

The site eventually housed an 18-stall engine house, freight and flour sheds, carpenter and car repair shops, ice houses, a yard office, railway stores, and the engineer booking office. There was also a vast locomotive shop used to repair steam engines.

At its peak, the yard could hold 200 railroad cars and it contained 25 miles of track. During the 1940s, four transcontinental trains a day came through the yards. To the west of the main depot was a well-maintained grassy park with numerous flower gardens and trees.

All of the infrastructure is now gone, except for the main station itself, and the pictures and memories of when the CPR yards were the cause and the centre of activity for the city of North Bay. There is still a working rail yard on the property, but it is much diminished from the glory days of the railway.