Ontario Cemetery Records
Ontario Census Records
Ontario Church Records
Ontario Court Records
Ontario Genealogy Societies
Ontario Immigration Records
Ontario Indian Tribes
Ontario Land and Maps
Ontario Mailing Lists
Ontario Military Records
Ontario Online Books
Ontario Vital Records
Free Genealogy Forms
Family Group Chart
New Genealogy Data
Family Tree Search
Genealogy Books For Sale
FREE Web Site Hosting at
Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa Ry.
Irondale, Bancroft, and Ottawa Ry.
A road which does not lie actually within the county but which is
inseparably associated in thought with the Victoria Railway is the
I. B. & O. (Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa) Railway, known in early
times as the "I.O.U.", because of its financial trials. This railway
strikes east from Kinmount Junction, on the Haliburton line, 2.3
miles north of Kinmount. A charter issued in 1880 granted permission
to build west to Georgian Bay and east to Ottawa. The line was begun
by Mr. Myles, of the Snowdon Iron Mine, extended by C. J. Pusey and
L. B. Howland, and finally acquired by the C. N. R. in 1909.
Constructional difficulties were enormous; traffic was scarce and
money scarcer; and progress in building hardly averaged a mile a
year. The first engine on the line was the "Mary Ann," a gentle
creature, who, whenever the rails gave out, would squat quietly down
on the ballast without hurting a soul.
At the present day, the I. B. & O. has reached Bancroft on its way
Hope Deferred Maketh Bobcaygeon
The only important center in the county which was not served by the
consolidated Midland Railway system was the thriving village of
Bobcaygeon, with its products of lumber, lime, and building stone.
Attempts were made by Peterborough promoters in 1874-78, and again
in 1891, to finance a line from Peterboro to Bobcaygeon. Both
attempts failed, although in the former case Bobcaygeon and Verulam
each voted $20,000 in bonuses.
On March 26, 1890, a charter was granted to a Bobcaygeon, Lindsay,
and Pontypool Railway Company, composed of Lindsay and Bobcaygeon
business men. The company found construction beyond its means and
accomplished nothing until 1903. An agreement was then entered into
with the Canadian Pacific Railway whereby the latter agreed to back
construction on the understanding that they were to receive a
99-year lease. In this way the C.P.R. got the road without the
trouble of securing an extra charter and the directors of the B. L.
& P. R. attained their objective ,the linking up of Bobcaygeon with
the outside world. The promoters of this project were H. J. Wickham,
W. T. C. Boyd, and Thomas Stewart.
Surveys were made in May and June, 1903, and a line chosen from
Burketon, in Durham county, on the C.P.R., through Lindsay to
Bobcaygeon. The Dominion government gave a bonus of $3200 per mile
for the whole 38 miles of construction, and the Ontario government
$3000 per mile for the 16 miles between Lindsay and Bobcaygeon. The
contract for building was let in July 1903 to E. F. Fauquier.
Bitter opposition was given by the G.T.R.. The original plan had
been to enter the town by a line half a mile east of the river,
cross the G.T.R. tracks on the level, and come in on a curve.
According to law it was permissible for a new road to cut across a
single main line of rails but not a series of sidings. The G.T.R.
therefore anticipated matters by laying down a series of extensive
sidings (called the "Santiago Siding" in memory of the recent
Spanish-American War) directly across the proposed route. A changed
survey now dipped down to river level and passed under the G.T.R.
high level bridge. The G.T.R. next tried to block the Bobcaygeon
line from crossing the old track at King Street in the East Ward but
was forced to give way by the Railway Committee of the federal Privy
In order to pass through Lindsay on the new level, entire blocks in
a thickly built up part of the East Ward had to be bought up and
demolished. Over forty residences with their outbuildings were wiped
out, and their destruction produced a housing famine in the town.
The cost of a mile of railway in this part of Lindsay totalled over
The road was officially opened by H. P. Timmerman on July 28, 1904.
A Line for Manitoba Wheat
Scarcely had this Bobcaygeon spur been completed, when the C.P.R.
began to lay plans for the construction of a railway from Victoria
Harbour, on Georgian Bay, to their main line, near Peterborough, so
that the grain harvest. of the western provinces might be handled
with greater dispatch. Surveys were begun in the fall of 1905 under
the direction of Mr. Gourley, C.E. Seventeen different survey lines
were run; and a route was .finally chosen in 1906. Building was
postponed ,however, for another five years, because of the
government's delay in dredging out Victoria Harbor sufficiently for
the big grain vessels to moor alongside the elevators.
The G.T.R. prepared meanwhile to counteract this C. P. R. venture by
double tracking the Midland Division from Midland to Port Hope and
improving grades all along the route. A new entry into Lindsay from
the northwest was built in 1906, thus eliminating the difficult
grade on Victoria Avenue. Further construction was prepared for in a
leisurely fashion, but the enterprise was dropped when Chas. M. Hays
perished in the Titanic disaster.
The C.P.R. began work in earnest in 1911 on its line from Port
McNicholl on Victoria Harbour, to a point on the main line near
Bethany, in Durham county. (The junction here has been called
Dranoel; i. e., Leonard, spelled backwards.)
The general contract was awarded to the Toronto Construction
Company, and the local sub-contracts to Johnston Bros. (Lorneville
to Cambray), Perry and Stewart (Cambray to Lindsay), and F .R.
Wilford (southeast from Lindsay.)
The last rail was laid on October 25, 1911. The total length of the
line was 88 miles, and its maximum gradient four-tenths of one per
Brief summarizing may clarify our retrospect of Victoria's railways.
Three early roads were built to link up the trade of the Kawartha
basin with the outside world, and a fourth sought to tap forest
wealth and supposed agricultural resources in the granite hinterland
of Haliburton. These roads were amalgamated in 1881 and absorbed by
the G.T.R. In 1904, the C.P.R. completed a short line as a trade
outlet for Verulam and Bobcaygeon, and in 1911 built a cross country
grain portage line from Georgian Bay to their Toronto-Montreal trunk