2020/05/09 – Huron Park & Waterloo Spurs

Good morning. It’s a chilly May day for a walk. I’m going to follow a couple more railway spurs. The first being Canadian National’s Huron Park Spur from Homer Watson and Manitou, headed north towards Waterloo. Let’s go.

End of the spur has been abandoned. Still taking industrial deliveries a bit further up, but no need for so much yard space.

The spur parallels up with a leg of the Heighthill hydro corridor. Both cross wetlands and Schneider Creek.

Switching action. This is a junction point between Canadian National’s spur and Canadian Pacific’s Waterloo Subdivision. There’s a yard here to exchange rail cars and general sorting.

At this point, I planned to get a closer look at the yard by going into Peter Hallman Ball Yard. But the whole thing is gated shut, and Schneider Creek acts like a moat. Will have to detour.

Came back to the spur via a spur. But now I come to the Conestoga Parkway, where it parallels the ION LRT. They had an opportunity here to make pedestrian/cycling connections, but didn’t, and to make them now would cost too much. What poor planning. Another detour.

The spur continues along with the LRT until Ottawa and Borden, where the latter splits off to the east. Northward, there’s a lot of vacant industrial land and rubble to go with.

The spur meets up with the Iron Horse Trail. The theme of abandoned industrial land continues until Victoria Park.

The Huron Park Spur continues north, and bends east to meet up with the Guelph Subdivision, which was purchased from Canadian National by Metrolinx (east of the GO train layover). I’m continuing along the Iron Horse Trail, a former railway which was abandoned by Canadian Pacific north of where we passed the junction with the Huron Park Spur. Parts of it live on as this great multi-use trail. There’s even this underpass to get by the Guelph Subdivision.

The trail goes towards Uptown Waterloo, before ending at Park Street. A condo development kinda extended it one block east. But otherwise, I think that’s the end of any trace of the former railway.

Switching gears again. Now I’m going to follow the Waterloo Spur, owned by the regional municipality. I’m meeting up with it near Silver Lake and heading east. The freight spur and the LRT merge west of Waterloo Public Square. Freight trains continue southeast through buildings and backyards. A neat junction point where the spur and it’s adjacent trail cross Laurel Creek and its adjacent trail.

Noticed a remotely triggered derail, then noticed this structure that usually has signal lights on it. I’d think they’re related, to protect against trains running into downtown and the LRT. Trail continues southeast to downtown Kitchener.

The Waterloo Spur also joins up with the Guelph Subdivision in downtown Kitchener, also marking the end of the adjacent trail. Nice path to the railway station though.

One last jaunt: the former Bridgeport Spur. This was a small industrial spur serving the Northward district, but has long since been abandoned. Most of the right-of-way exists, but it’s been taken over by adjacent properties north of Guelph Street. So I’ll call it there today.

Date: May 9, 2020
Length: 18.9 km
Type: Railway / Highway

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