Transportation & Communication

Water traffic, once Toronto's vital link outward, still brings goods into port facilities, which have been repeatedly improved by the Toronto Harbour Commission since 1911. In 1959 the St Lawrence Seaway opened the port to ocean shipping. Docks for ocean vessels, new harbour areas behind artificial islands and large recreational and residential waterside developments (especially that called the "Harbourfront") mark the port today.

Locomotive CNR 6213 on the rails. In freight and passenger service it travelled for over a million kilometres and is now in the Roundhouse Museum, Toronto (public domain).

On land, it was the railway that turned Toronto into a prosperous centre of commerce and industry. Union Station and the great Roundhouse were its hub and whole areas of the city, particularly the Junction, were devoted to rail traffic. Today the government of Ontario "GO" trains provide essential commuter services.

Bus, truck and car traffic use a similar main road network, especially Highway 401, a many-laned crosstown throughway, and Highway 400, now the prime route north. By air, Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport offers national and world communications, while the Billy Bishop Toronto Centre Airport by the harbour has been developed for short-leg business flights.

Internally, automobile routes such as the Gardiner Expressway along the southern edge of the downtown, or the Don Valley Parkway running northward, bear heavy loads, and public streetcar, bus and subway systems strain to serve increasing density.

As a transportation hub and centre of business and finance, Toronto naturally became a communications hub. As the sites in this theme will show, the relationship is one of physical proximity and shared interest.

A selection of sites from this theme is laid out in the trail Walk the Talk.

The Stories