1853 Scobie: General Plan of Arrangements for Railway Termini for the City of Toronto with Provision for Public Walks

For all the attention this scheme was given—a notice and letter in the Journal of the Canadian Institute supported by this lithographed map—its author remains a mystery. What his proposal tried to resolve was the conflict between the public interest in a park-like walk along the waterfront, and the railways’ drive to dominate in that area. His compromise reflected a na├»ve understanding of the role the railways would come to play in the life of the city.

A corridor wide enough for nine tracks was to be bounded on one side by 'a grand terrace, perfectly straight for upwards of two miles, planted with trees like the “Paseo” of Havana.' It was to replace the historic Walks & Gardens set aside in 1818, and be joined to the wharves and warehouses along the harbour by ten bridges at intervals. But events would overtake and render such rational and grandiose ideas nugatory. Not until the construction of the high-level rail embankment across the front of the city in the 1920s was something similar attempted.

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1853 Scobie: General Plan of Arrangements for Railway Termini for the City of Toronto with Provision for Public Walks

General Plan of Arrangements for Railway Termini for the City of Toronto with Provision for Public Walks / Referred to in Letter From a member of the Canadian Institute — see page 253. // Hugh Scobie Lith., Toronto. 1853.
Image courtesy Toronto Public Library: T[1853]/4Msm
Winearls, MUC no. 2095


Next map: 1855 Gordon: Sketch of the Old Fort showing in yellow the ground taken and filled by the Grand Trunk Railway Company . . . complained of by Doctor Hallowell
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