Timeline for the six Stratford railway stations text by Dean Robinson
See YouTube Video " The Railway Stations of Stratford" at the bottom by SDHS.
No. 1-1856-Regent Street
Stratford’s first railway station received its first train on Sept. 3, 1856. The station was on the south end of Regent Street and faced Queen Street. See Regent Street
It received the Prince of Wales when he stopped in Stratford in 1860 on his cross-Canada tour. He became King Edward VII in 1901.
This station remained in service until 1867. It was torn down after the GTR built a new one east of Nile Street and south of the present station, on Shakespeare Street. See Shakespeare Street
No. 2-1856-Nelson Street
The second station, at the corner of St. David and Nelson streets, had no connection to the Grand Trunk Railway. Rather, it belonged to the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway (B&LH) and welcomed its first locomotive on Dec. 8, 1856 (see Nelson Street).
That was three months after the first train had rolled into the GTR station on Regent Street (see Regent Street).
No. 3-1861-Nile Street
In 1861, the city’s third station was built near the intersection of Nile and Shakespeare streets. It was a joint effort by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) and the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway (B&LH), and was the city’s first “union” station. It lasted until 1870. Its location was at the junction of the two companies’ tracks (see Nile Street).
No. 4-1870-Guelph Street
In 1870, the GTR erected Stratford’s fourth station, at the intersection of Guelph and Downie streets. Like station No. 3, it was a union station, built to serve the increased traffic created when the GTR established major motive power repair facilities just west of Downie Street. This GTR station was in use for more than four decades. See Guelph Street
No. 5-1875-Falstaff Street
No. 6 -1913-Shakespeare Street
The city’s “grand old” train station still serves. Built in 1913 at 101 Shakespeare St., it has retained most of its original design, which was based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style. It was one of the most picturesque stations built by the GTR in western Ontario between the mid-1890s and the First World War. It was the visual crown to Stratford’s development as a railway centre, which included a huge GTR steam locomotive repair facility (see Shakespeare Street ).
Compiled by Gord Conroy