trainspotting (blog)

Spadina (June 24, 1985)

I could fill a book with images and remembrances of CN's Spadina roundhouse. And I'm anything but alone on that. Generations of the faithful took advantage of the legendary hospitality of the downtown Toronto roundhouse that serviced passenger and local power, and gained fame as the home of three successive locomotives assigned to CN's steam program: Northerns 6167 and 6218, followed by Mountain type No. 6060.

I was about three years old when I first glimpsed Spadina (crowded with revenue steam) from the window of a passing train; twelve when I made my first photographs there, and had a three-year-old son in tow when I made my last photographs of Spadina as it fell under the wrecking ball.

In the intervening decades I spent hundreds of hours in the gritty, greasy glamour of the magical place we knew simply as "Spadina"

There's still magic (and the magical sound of Alco 251s) in the air on this June 1985 evening at Spadina, but the downtown roundhouse is on borrowed time. Its successor, VIA's new Toronto Maintenance Centre, is nearing completion.

Spadina dispatched it last locomotive on September 19, 1985, and was demolished in the spring of 1986 to make room for a domed stadium.

greg mcdonnellComment