Ron Brown is a geographer and heritage writer. He has authored more than twenty books, including Rails Over the Mountains, The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, and The Top 150 Unusual Things to See in Ontario. A past chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada, he also conducts tours along Ontario’s back roads. He lives in East York.
The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Despite the "green" benefits of rail travel, Canada has lost much of its railway heritage. Across the country stations have been bulldozed and rails ripped up. Once the heart of communities large and small, stations and tracks have left little more than a gaping hole in Canada’s landscapes. This book revisits the times when railways were the country’s economic lifeline, and the station the social centre. Here was where we worked, played, listened to political speeches, or simply said goodbye to loved ones never knowing when they would return. The landscapes which grew around the station are also explored and include such forgotten features as station hotels, restaurants, gardens and the once common railway YMCA. Railway companies often hired the world’s leading architects to design grand station buildings which ranged in style from chateau-esque to art deco. Even small town stations and wayside shelters displayed an artistic flare and elegance. Although most have vanished, the book celebrates the survival of that heritage in stations which have been saved or indeed remain in use. The book will appeal to anyone who has links with our rail era, or who simply appreciates the value of Canada’s built heritage.
Ron Brown has provided a glowing history that gets more informative with each edition. It is a great bit of nostalgia to see the stations as they were in their glory days, over a century ago.
For an understanding and informed look at this vanished past, The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is an invaluable addition to the shelves of Canadian libraries.