Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Toronto Railway Museum

Toronto Railway Museum

Toronto is home to a great variety of museums and attractions for the family; there's really something for everyone! And it seems I'm always coming across a spot I haven't yet been. The Toronto Railway Museum is a super example.

The Toronto Railway Museum opened in 2010, and is dedicated to preserving the physical legacy, history and experience of rail transportation in Toronto and Ontario. It is operated by the Toronto Railway Historical Association, a registered charity established in 2001.

When Boo was younger, like lots of young kids, he was a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan, and he still has a love of trains at 10. My husband used to build model railroads, and I could just see his mind spinning at the Museum, thinking about how he might be able to fit some tracks into his man cave. (Yes, dear, I saw the look in your eyes!) This was clearly a great place to bring these guys, and we all really enjoyed our visit.

The museum itself is housed in the stalls of the John St. Roundhouse, and there is an admission fee to enter, naturally. But there are also trains on the grounds that are free to view, with a boxcar and caboose available to wander through and explore.

Toronto Railway Museum
It was interesting to see how the conductors lievd on the trains.
You can also visit Cabin D and learn about the switching mechanisms that kept trains safe on the tracks. Boo had a chance to try his hand at operating this bank of switches.

Toronto Railway Museum - switches

Inside the museum itself, you can check out a variety of artifacts from railway history, including delicate items from the dining cars, right up to service vehicles and heavy equipment.

Toronto Railway Museum
Toronto Railway Museum

There is also a large Lego train display, with mutliple tracks and trains, and tons of fun inserted for you to find. (Look for Indiana Jones, and the Ghostbusters ...) Kids (and adults) can set these sets running with the touch of a button. There's also a wooden train table for the wee ones to play while the older guests take in the displays.

Boo really enjoyed checking out the museum's Simulator, which gave him the opportunity to see what it was like for an engineer on a real train in Toronto in the 1950s. He got to operate the two types of brakes and get a feel for the acceleration. I had a little trouble prying him away from the controls.

A photo posted by Deb Coombs (@raisingmyboys) on

The Toronto Railway Museum is located in the heart of downtown, in Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd. That's right across the street from the CN Tower and Ripley's Aquarium, just over from Rogers Centre, so it's a hot location with lots of options. They are open 7 days a week, from noon-5pm. Admission to the museum is $5 for ages 14+ and $3 for under 14, pay at the museum entrance in the Roundhouse. Tickets for the mini train ride are $3.50 for those 14+ and $2.50 under 14. You can pick those up in the gift shop in Don Station.

The gift shop has the usual souvenir t-shirts and hats, plus toy trains, train whistles, books on the history of the railway, and so much more. This is a small set-up, but growing as they restore more trains, and is certainly worth the low cost of admission. We definitely recommend this attraction for anyone with an interest in trains and the railway. And your little Thomas fans? They'll go nuts!!

Toronto Railway Museum - Don Station

Get Social

Want to learn more? Head on down, or you can connect with the Toronto Railway Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Disclosure: My family and I were invited to visit the Toronto Railway Museum and ride the Miniature Train for the purposes of researching for this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family.

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