Boundaries: Eglinton on the north from Kennedy to Brimley, south to the rail line, back as far as Birchmount, and north to the subway tracks.

The Grand Trunk Railway was built through southern Scarborough in 1856, linking Toronto to Montreal. In the 1860s George Laidlaw, a Toronto businessman and William Gooderham, of Gooderham and Worts Distillery, set about to build a railway north to Lake Nipissing where it would connect to the recently completed Canadian Pacific Railway. It never got to Lake Nipissing, but its main goal was to carry gain to Gooderham’s distillery at the foot of Parliament Street, and to divert the flow of lumber away from the Trent River. This was achieved when the rail line reached the lumber town of Coboconk in the Kawartha Lake area. To cut costs they pioneered the use of narrow gauge 3’6” construction, using a third rail inside the 5’6” Grand Trunk line into Toronto. The Toronto and Nipissing Railway opened in 1871, but in 1882 it merged with the Midland Railway of Canada, hence the name of the adjacent road Midland Avenue. The name Scarborough Junction derives from the junction of the two rail lines northwest of Midland and St Clair. A post office using the name opened in 1873 at Bell’s General Store at Kennedy and St Clair.

Nowadays the Grand Trunk and T&N lines are owned by Canadian National, and used by Go Transit for their Stouffville and Lakeshore East services. The Scarborough GO Station, on the Lakeshore East line is now located south of St Clair and west of Midland, while the Kennedy GO station on the Stouffville line is adjacent to the Kennedy subway station.

The Bethel Primitive Methodist Church was held services in this area between 1842 and 1890, after which it was demolished, but its cemetery off Kennedy south of Eglinton, is still maintained by the Scarborough Historical Society. By far the largest cemetery in the neighbourhood lies just to the southwest. Pine Hills Cemetery was established in 1928. According to their website, “more than 17,500 trees and shrubs such as white ash, maple, black cherry and elm have been planted in the cemetery” since its inception.

Like many other Scarborough neighbourhoods, suburban dwellings began to take over farmer’s fields in the late 1940s.


Charles Cooper   Narrow Gauge for Us: The Story of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway  Boston Mills Press 1982

York-Durham Heritage Railway  History of the Rail-line used by the YDHR

Wikipedia  Scarborough Junction


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