Rod Clarke's TG&B and T&N Diaries

Rod Clarke is the author of Narrow Gauge Through The Bush, the definitive history of two narrow gauge railways that were built almost simultaneously following their incorporation in 1868 north-west (Toronto, Grey & Bruce Railway) and north-east (the Toronto & Nipissing Railway) of Toronto. The objects were to break the traffic and wood fuel monopolies of the Northern Railway of Canada, to open up the hinterlands to the economic and social benefits of railway transportation, and last but not least to bring in the grain to supply the needs of their sponsor, the Gooderham & Worts Distillery. 

This book built on previous essays on these two railways, but  the emphasis of this work is on the engineering and operation of the routes, the rolling stock, the buildings and structures; as well as on the backgrounds of the engineers, contractors and manufacturers who built and supplied equipment to them, but the author notes that "aside from the technical aspects of this work, the book is also very detailed in its treatment of the political and social history of the times that led to the building of these railways, so it is of much broader interest than to the immediate rail fan community.
I particularly enjoyed describing the often amusing, sometimes scandalous, manoeuvring between the railway promoters, business people and local politicians to get bonus by-laws passed to help finance the lines. There is also interesting material on the origins and lives of the labourers who built these railways."

The book also sheds light on the politics and economics of narrow gauge railways. It is now out-of-print, but is the definitive work on the emergence of these two railways that contributed vastly to the development of Ontario in the nineteenth century. 

Years of meticulous research went into the making of this history, and Rod has kindly granted permission for publication of his newspaper research.
The Author

The Author


  1. Rod's research covers 1865 to 1874 for the TG&B, and 1867 to 1883 for the T&N.
  2. These pages appear as scanned by the author. They were selected for his research from newspapers that Rod was able to copy at the Archives of Ontario and at various local libraries.
  3. The newspaper is indicated by an abbreviation. The list of abbreviations appears below.
  4. Readability is entirely dependent on the quality of the microfilm machine of the day, the condition of the newspaper, the type size used by the paper, and the limitations of the reproductive process to present these pages here. Some newspaper printed with very small type sizes, and it may be necessary to use a magnifying glass or the on-screen zoom-out zoom-in feature to read some of the pages.
  5. Some articles appeared in full and often multiple columns, so that they have been reproduced here on successive pages, denoted as  e.g. 1/2 2/2, and the reader will have to look for the overlap.
  6. Dates appear either written out in full as in "May 30, 1867", "30 May 1867" or in international format (18) 67 05 30.
  7. Additional material re the TG&B also appears in Carl Riff's Railway History Diaries (see under CPR Bruce Division and Toronto, Grey & Bruce Railway); and for both the TG&B and the T&N also under Quick Railway Histories and other Information

Newspaper Abbreviations:
BT Brampton Times
GR Galt Reporter 
GS Goderich Signal
HE Huron Expositor
HS Hamilton Spectator
ME Markham Economist
MFC Mount Forest Confederate
OS Orangeville Sun
OSA Owen Sound Advertiser
TG Toronto Globe
TL Toronto Leader
UJ Uxbridge Journal
WC Whitby Chronicle

Toronto & Nipissing Railway

1867 handwritten entries
1868 handwritten entries
1869 Jan Feb
1869 Mar Apr
1869 May Jun
1869 Jul
1869 Aug Sep
1869 Oct
1869 Nov
1869 Dec
1870 Jan Feb
1870 Mar May
1870 Jun Aug
1870 Sep Oct AGM, new Kingston loco
1871 Jan Mar Joseph Gould loco
1871 Apr rails to Goodwood
1871 May
1871 Jun Jul
1871 Aug
1871 Sep opening to Uxbridge, AGM
1871 Oct Dec
1872 Jan Jun
1872 Jun Dec (Sep AGM)
1873 Jan Jun (May Coboconk to be terminus - death of John Shedden)
1873 Jul Dec (Sep AGM)
1874 (Feb boiler explosion Stouffville)
1876 LSJR to Sutton to be operated by the T&N
1878 fatal accident between Uxbridge and Goodwood 
1879 freak collision with team  south of Stouffville, no one injured
1881 to be converted to the standard gauge
1882 car shops, Uxbridge
1883 Uxbridge engine house fire

Note: Some additional information is also at Narrow Gauge For Us