Monday, April 20, 2009

A New Home for the Freeman Station? 5 possibilities...

The city of Burlington has plans to move the old Freeman Train Station, yes, the one that has been "parked" behind the Fairview St. Fire Station for the last four years! Recently City Hall held an open house to showcase 5 possible spots where the station could be moved to - 4 of the 5 are in the core area and belong to the City. Possible "homes" include: land on the lakefront across the street from the Joseph Brant Museum, the north-west corner of the park behind the Burlington Art Centre, the north-east quadrant on the corner of Elgin St. and Brock Ave, Municipal parking lot 5 on Brant St. across from Elgin St. and lastly, the Burloak Waterfront Park.

At this point, city planners do not know what kind of tenant will take over the restored old station when it does find its new home (see report). This writer is especially excited that something is being done to start the process of restoration of this wonderful local treasure. The station was named after Joshua Freeman, the founder of the village of Freeman. Built in 1904, it was located on the corner of Brant Street and Plains Road. It was in use until 1988. In its heyday, this Grand Trunk Railway station was a hive of activity, especially on shipping days of the Aldershot fruit harvest.

Courtesy of the Burlington Historical Society

Friday, April 3, 2009

Archives of Ontario on the move

On April 2nd, the Archives of Ontario opened its doors to its new state-of-the-art home on the York University Campus. This move has been on a gargantuan scale - 53,000 containers, folders and volumes of archival records have been meticulously packed and moved.

For genealogists and historians, the "one big reading room" as staff refer to it, is 75% larger than the old Archives reading room, offers new microfilm readers, more work stations, state of the art viewing booths for sound and moving images, wireless capability and even a lounge for day-long researchers.

Getting to and from the new Archives from the Halton-Hamilton area may not be as easy as to the old location on Grenville Street. Driving won't be too bad, but for public transit users, visiting the Archives won't be as easy as hopping on a Go Train to downtown Toronto. Apparently plans for a rapid transit busway that will shuttle commuters from Downsview Subway Station to the York University campus have now been finalized. This is very good news for those making their way to this exciting new facility.