It appears that for some time past the officials of the Grand Trunk Railway have realized that the car works [from the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway, that the GTR had purchased in 1869] were not situated in the proper place, and that continuing them in Brantford has only resulted in a great loss to the company, amounting in the year to about $40,000. This state of affairs cannot go on forever. At the time the car shops were built the bonus of $35,000 offered by Brantford overcame the scruples entertained by the Directors, and much against their own judgement it was decided to accept the bonus, even if by doing so the shops were erected in an out of the way place.
The experiment has been tried, and it has been a costly one for the company – they have lost five times the amount received from the town of Brantford, and now the question of removal to Stratford is being very seriously considered. Whatever determination may be arrived at by the authorities of the road, the matter is a very important one to Stratford. If the car shops come here they will employ over 300 skilled mechanics, who will be removed from Brantford, and with their families, will increase our population to about 2,000 raising us the status of a city at once.
The new works would in all probability be erected alongside the present shops, at a cost of about $30,000, and would fill up the entire vacant ground fronting on Patrick Street and the Downie road. We believe that in the event of their removal being decided upon, the company would require the property on which the Robertson house and the grain storehouses now stand and the privilege of using Shakespeare street, and putting in crossings on the Downie road, which we think could be obtained without much difficulty.
From the Brantford papers we learn that the proposed removal is viewed with alarm…Of the difficulties said to be existing between the Grand Trunk and the Canada Southern Railways, we know nothing, but we incline to the belief that this is not the principal cause of the talked of removal. The fact of the matter is simply this, - Stratford, from its central position, is the most suitable place for the car shops, and if they removed here it will be an immense yearly saving to the Grand Trunk Company.
For the full history of the railway shops in Stratford, see Dean Robinson’s book " Railway Stratford Revisited." Source: Stratford Times: History Friday, November 12, 2021 Betty Jo Belton