Rails Across Ontario


Explore Ontario’s rich railway heritage — from stations and hotels to train rides, bridges, water towers, and roundhouses.

Rails Across Ontario will take the reader back to a time when the railway ruled the economy and the landscape.

Read about historic stations, railway museums, heritage train rides, and historic bridges. Follow old rail lines along Ontario’s most popular rail trails. Find out where steam engines still puff across farm fields and where historic train coaches lead deep into the wilds of Ontario’s scenic north country. Discover long forgotten but once vital railway structures, such as roundhouses, coal docks, and water towers. Learn about regular VIA Rail routes that follow some of the province’s oldest rail lines and pass some of its most historic stations, including one that has operated continuously since 1857.


...an absolutely enjoyable read. It is an all-encompassing story of Ontario's rail history, past and present...There are so many interesting facts that even railway buffs will appreciate the level of detail and the amount of information they didn't know before.

Terrace Bay-Schreiber News

As promised by its title, Rails Across Ontario: Exploring Ontario's Railway Heritage is a most-interesting collection of bits published by Dundurn, Toronto.

St. Thomas Times-Journal

A reader’s treasure of both historical and contemporary railway lore.


... Ron Brown's exploration of Ontario's railway heritage is a thorough, carefully researched account of the coming of the Railway Age to the mid-nineteenth century colony that would become Ontario in 1867... This is an entertaining and lively book for historians and rail enthusiasts of all types.

OHS Bulletin

Rails Across Ontario is another in a series of entertaining and informative books prepared by the prolific Ron Brown, whose knowledge of people and places related to an earlier Ontario is unmatched.

Toronto Sun

…Brown's new Rails Across Ontario continues his project of unearthing this hidden history. Like his previous titles, Rails is designed as a reference book – you may read it cover-to-cover when you first get it, but it's clearly meant to be easy to consult when thinking about, or better yet exploring particular communities.

Niagara Life Magazine

Ron Brown’s book takes a travel writer’s historical look at all the factors that have made Ontario’s rail network what it is today. There is a wealth of history here, as one can imagine… [Rails Across Ontario] is to be enjoyed for its look at all the different aspects connected to the development of the railways and their infrastructure.

Railway Modeller Magazine

A great little book that would be well worth to keep in the car…


About the Author

Ron Brown

Posted by Kendra on October 30, 2014
Ron Brown photo

Ron Brown

Ron Brown, a geographer and travel writer, has authored more than twenty books, including Canada&#8217s World Wonders and The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore. A past chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada and a current member of the East York Historical Society, he gives lectures and conducts tours along Ontario’s back roads. Ron lives in Toronto.