City to Scrap Piece of Rail History for Big Box Retailer
TORONTO, June 28 /CNW/ - On Canada Day weekend, traditionally a time to
celebrate our national pride and history, July 3rd will instead signal the
death knell for a 1948 CP Rail engine, now housed at the CPR John St.
Roundhouse, a national historic site.
"We're urging Mayor Miller and City Councilors not to derail an important
part of Toronto and Canadian rail history," said Doug Lister. "The City is
planning to turn the engine into scrap, and The Roundhouse into a Leon's
discount furniture warehouse. We're urging Council to save the engine, and
reconsider The Roundhouse for a more appropriate use, which is preserving rail
history rather than selling furniture."
In 1997, the Lister Brothers entered into an agreement with the City to
house their engine in what was to be a Rail History Museum. Now, 10 years
later, Toronto's Culture Department has outsourced its decision making to a
private Developer, who in turn has scaled back the museum project to a
fraction of the original size to accommodate their proposed new tenant, Leon's
Discount Furniture Warehouse. As a result there is no longer room for the
'rolling stock' that was to be an important part of the museum.
"They are evicting us from the building and they've sold off our rail
access. Our only option is to move our engine by crane, which we can't afford.
Now the city is threatening to call in a scrap metal company to cut up the
engine and haul it away," added Doug Lister. "It's a sad day when city
politicians care so little about preserving history, especially on Canada
The Engine, one of the only remaining models of its kind, currently sits
just outside Bay No. 14, a portion of the Roundhouse, where the Lister
brothers and Steam Whistle Brewing have been restoring the engine's exterior.
With more than 60,000 visitors coming through Steam Whistle's doors annually,
the engine has become a popular stop on the brewery's historical tour of the
"We are urging Torontonians to voice their concern about the blatant
disregard for our cultural heritage," adds Doug Lister. "It's not too late.
This is not a done deal. The lease agreements have not been signed by the
City. We hope public pressure will persuade city council to initiate a review
of the appropriate use of the Roundhouse."
Over the Canada Day weekend, we challenge concerned citizens to take a
moment to write a letter or make a phone call to help preserve Toronto's rail
email@example.com 416-397-CITY (2489)
For further information:
For further information: Doug or Don Lister at (416) 535-6383