STEAMING
FORWARD
EXCERPTED FROM A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF NEWMARKET BY TERRY CARTER, NEWMARKET HISTORICAL SOCIETY

On the first Saturday of June 1853, the first train puffed into Newmarket on the tracks of the first railroad built in Upper Canada. Called the Ontario, Huron & Simcoe Railway, the railroad cinched Newmarket’s role as the business centre of the hinterland north of Toronto.

Businesses moved here, mills and factories were built and the population grew. It has never stopped growing. In 1899 the rails of a streetcar line pushed up Yonge Street and reached Newmarket. The old streetcar, “the radial”, brought tourists flocking to town. They came for the Saturday farmers’ market, and special trains were run from Toronto for the North York Agricultural Fair held each September in Newmarket. The street railway also carried freight, including locally-produced farm produce, to Toronto markets.

Better highways and the growing population of automobiles eventually put the line out of business. It was discontinued north of Richmond Hill in the early 1930s.

ON THE FAST TRACK

Today Newmarket is a commuters’ dream with super highways, state-of-the-art public transportation and cutting edge GO Transit that whisks tens of thousands of passengers a day in less than an hour to Union Station and north to Barrie.

Newmarket’s advanced transportation system connects Highway 404, Highway 400 and Highway 9 along its two main interchanges – Davis Drive and Mulock Drive/Vivian Road.

York Region Transit (YRT) operates the Viva Blue rapid transit bus route from the Newmarket Bus Terminal to the Finch Terminal in Toronto. In partnership with VIVA, York Region Transit has built a Rapidway along Davis Drive between Yonge Street and Southlake Regional Health Centre, with fully separated bus only lanes and centre street station platforms for the Viva Yellow service.

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