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CRAIGLEITH HERITAGE DEPOT

In 1854, Sir Sandford Fleming established a family farm for his parents and younger siblings in Craigleith.  Sanford’s Father, Andrew Fleming, sold a parcel of land to the Northern Railway in 1872, in order to construct a train station for mail, freight, and passenger transportation.  The prestigious station was constructed by 1880 and was built along the Township’s first gravel road, Lakeshore Road. 

This road followed an early path traveled by the Petun Indians, Jesuit missionaries, and traders during the 1600’s.  Boasting the latest architectural design, the Craigleith Station featured a rounded turret which allowed views of the train track from both directions.  Two separate waiting rooms were located inside; one for men and the other for women.  The stationmaster and his family resided in the living quarters, which were also situated in the Train Station.  It is said that the first station master’s wife planted the fragrant lilacs that adorn the property today, which were given to her by Sir Sandford’s Mother Elizabeth.  By 1881, there were 6 trains a day arriving and departing from the Craigleith train station; the most anticipated being the noon mail train. 

It was in the early 1940’s that the ski trains started to travel to Craigleith, bringing with them scores of skiers who were picked up in a horse and carriage by Jozo Weider himself who transported them to Blue Mountain.  In 1967, Kenn and Suyrea Knapman bought the station from CNR and restored it into a restaurant and small museum.  In July of 2001, The Town of The Blue Mountains, with support from the Craigleith Heritage Committee and Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation purchased the Depot.  After raising $329,000 towards restoration of the Craigleith Heritage Depot, volunteers were awarded with the reopening of the doors as a community heritage interpretation centre, museum, and tourism office.  $175,000 was also received from SuperBuild funding, as well as, $55,000 from the Trillium Foundation. 

Regular passenger and mail service ended on July 2, 1960, however, freight service continued until 1984.  1989 saw the railway tracks lifted and turned into the Georgian Trail, which travels mostly along the old rail route from Meaford, to Collingwood. 

The Craigleith Heritage Depot is currently one, of very few, remaining wooden CNR Stations left.  It also is the last remaining station of Canada’s “long line” (over 49 miles in length) railroad system.