Visiting a museum may not sound like the most exciting of ways to spend a Saturday, but this place is different. The Halton County Railway Museum (aka the Streetcar Museum) is an interactive museum, where visitors can actually ride on a 100 year-old streetcar as well as walk through streetcars from the 1940s & 1950s.
During our visit to the Museum, we recorded a video for our Let’s Discover ON YouTube Channel.
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The Museum is owned & operated by the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA) which is a non-profit and educational organization run exclusively by Volunteers. The Association started out as a small group of men who wanted to save a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) streetcar from being sent to the scrapyard. They decided to collectively buy the streetcar and land that used to be part of the Toronto Radial Railway in order to preserve this piece of Canadian history. Over the years more streetcars and land was purchased and their vision has since materialized into the Streetcar Museum.
Located in Milton, Ontario, the Streetcar Museum is surrounded by pristine forest land. They have over 30 Canadian streetcars and subway cars on display. The staff are meticulous when it comes to the details; the streetcar interiors have the same style of poster ads as in the era the streetcar was from.
As mentioned, you’ll be able to ride some of these historic vehicles because they have their own closed loop rail system on the property. Once you purchase your admission ticket, it doubles as your streetcar pass, that you can use all day long. The 2km ride will take you from the main area of the museum to the ‘East End’, where you can visit the ice cream shop, go to the frog pond or sit and enjoy a picnic. It was raining during our visit, so we decided to just stick to the streetcar ride.
A piece of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Subway history is also located here. The very first Subway car from 1954 is in their Preservation Barn. This car was known as the ‘Gloucester Car’ (named for where it was built in Gloucester UK) and was used to break the ribbon when the subway line opened in Toronto for the first time.
There’s one building that is closed to the public, and that’s the Restoration Barn. This is where the Mechanics, who are all Volunteers, do all the maintenance and restoration work on the vehicles. For safety reasons, it’s closed to Visitors, however you may be able to look through the large doors, if open, and see the work being done. Some vehicles need to be stripped down to the bare bones in order to get them back to shape. Some require complete rewiring, others may need body work, which can vary from metal to even wooden pieces. It’s amazing to see an old, possibly rotted or rusted vehicle completely refurbished and given a new life.
- Adults – $15.00
- Seniors (65+) – $13.00
- Children (4-17) – $10.00
- Children (0-3) – FREE
- Family (2 Adults & up to 3 Children) – $45.00
*Cost of Admission is subject to change, these are 2017 rates.
Hours of Operation
- Monday to Friday from 10AM – 4:30PM in July & August
- Weekends & Holidays from 10AM – 4:30PM in May, June, September & October
- Streetcars were the original form of public transit in Ontario.
- Scenes from Anne of Green Gables & Murdoch Mysteries were filmed at the Museum.
- The Museum is Canada’s largest and Ontario’s only operating Streetcar Museum.
- The Rockwood Station building was originally built in 1912 and was physically moved on a flatbed truck to the Museum in the 1970s from its original location in Rockwood located 5 minutes away. Similarly, the Meadowvale Station located at the east end of the Museum was the original shelter for the Meadowvale stop along the Toronto Suburban Line.
- Moms & Dads get in for free on Mothers Day & Fathers Day with the purchase of a children’s admission.
- The Museum is gaining popularity as the location for couples’ engagement & wedding pictures.
- The Museum is owned and operation by the Ontario Electric Railway Association Inc. which is a federally registered not-for-profit educational organization.
Must See & Do
- Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it at one of the several picnic tables available on site.
- Buy a scoop or two of ice cream from the East End Cafe which is a refurbished and re-purposed old streetcar.
- Support the Museum by purchasing a toy or book from the Gift Shop.
- Visit another really cool spot, Terre Bleu Lavender Farm, which just so happens to be down the street & around the corner from the Museum. For a recap of our visit to Terre Bleu click here.
- The Museum also hosts special events such as a Haunted Train Ride at Halloween & a Santa Train in early December. Visit the website for specific dates and more info.
Our Visit was sponsored by the Streetcar Museum however all opinions, recommendations & reviews are our own.
Have any photos or videos of your visit that you would like to share with us? Send them over to @LetsDiscoverON.
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2 thoughts on “All Aboard at the Streetcar Museum!”
Great post! I had no idea this museum even existed! Wow…the very first Toronto subway car! Cool! I bet my parents rode on that. They lived in Toronto then. Will have to ask my dad!
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Aww Thanks @CanBlogHouse. Let us know if your Dad rode the subway.