Oshawa’s Lost Passenger Railway

Did you know that Oshawa once had an electric train service for passengers? Over 100 years ago, the Oshawa Railway Company opened to the public on June 13, 1895 when the fare was six cents a ride, or five tickets for a quarter.

Oshawa’s love affair with electric trains lasted 45 years, until January 27, 1940, when buses were brought in to move people around the city. We checked out the Thomas Bouckley Collection online at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, the local history collection online at the Oshawa Public Library, and Transit Toronto, for these forgotten photos of Oshawa’s passenger trains:


All aboard! Empty streetcar #17 is awaiting passengers. Published by Thomas Bouckley from the Oshawa Public Library. 


It’s the year 1915 at Athol and Simcoe Streets, and the summer streetcar is filling up! From the Thomas Bouckley Collection online at the Robert McLaughin Gallery. 

Oshawa Railroad Company outside of the original Oshawa Public Library location at Simcoe and Athol.  From the Oshawa Public Library Heritage Collection

Where did the Oshawa Railway Compay’s tracks run? Here’s a map from Old Time Trains:

When there were no more passengers to shuttle around the city, the Oshawa Railway Company fleet would retire for the night in car barns located at Simcoe and Athol, close to Oshawa’s first Y.M.C.A. which stood at 53 Simcoe Street, approximately where the Canada Post building is located .

The Oshawa Railway Company is just one of many industries that helped Oshawa grow. For more information about Oshawa’s historic industries, check out the Oshawa Museum’s well-researched website The Manchester of Canada