The Barry’s Bay Railway Station officially opened on October 1st, 1894 as part of the new Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railroad. At well over 425 km and running between the nation’s capital and Georgian Bay, the OA & PS was conceived and built by J.R. Booth, one of the great lumber kings of his day. His OA & PS Railway became the world’s largest private railroad at the time. For many decades following, was also Canada’s busiest railroad, carrying over 40 per cent of all western grain and millions of board feet of white and red pine cut between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay.
Despite the end of its passenger service to Barry’s Bay on July 1st, 1960, this Station remained open and, along with its Water Tower, it proudly stands today to reminds us daily, not only of a bygone era, but of who we are. This Station is not merely a sacred relic of a distant past; it’s also an icon of our very identity today, a reminder of who we once aspired to become.
Curious Things About Our Station
- The Barry’s Bay Railway Station is the last one standing of over thirty similar stations that once graced the 425 km OA & PS rail line.
- The OA & PS Railway was for many years the longest private railroad in the world.
- Shortly after opening in the autumn of 1894, the Station was padlocked and closed for four months due to a civil lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court in June,1895
- Virgin white pine cut locally was used to build the Canadian Parliament buildings including the Library of Parliament that survived the great fire of 1916.
- Local timber that passed through this Station was once used on the promenade decks of the Lusitania torpedoed off the Irish coast in 1915.
- Shortly after opening, the Barry’s Bay Station hosted special excursion trains, some with private luxury cars and ornamented observation decks that often brought British royalty, American governors and other celebrities to area hunting and fishing resorts.