The Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) was one of the best-known and most ambitious railways in Canada prior to Confederation in 1867. By 1860, the railway was completed from Montreal to Sarnia. Like Highway 401 today, it functioned as a major transit route connecting Quebec to the heartland of southern Ontario and the northeastern United States.
The GTR suffered financial difficulties from its early days of operation, and required public subsidies. As a result, it was incorporated into the Canadian National Railways in 1923. At that time, approximately 125 smaller railway companies comprised the Grand Trunk network, and it consisted of almost 13,000 kilometres of track across Canada.
This painting in the Government of Ontario Art Collection, completed by former Ontario Ministry of Transportation employee Moma Markovich, shows the importance of GTR stations as community hubs, centres of communication and gateways for the transportation of Ontario’s natural resources.