It was Toronto in 1884 that Mr. Vandepoele operated the first electric railway in the Dominion, after 1st running a 400 foot line in the USA.
Toronto had at that time a population of 100,000. In July of that year he installed the exhibition line from the foot of Strachan Avenue along the G.T.R. tracks to the eastern entrance “of the Industrial Exhibition—a distance of 3,000 ft. Speaking of this line the Daily Mail of. Sept. 11, 1884, described it as follows :
“The electricity, which is generated by two large-sized dynamos in Machinery Hall, run by a 75 h.p. engine, is conveyed into two copper bars which run the whole length of the track between the rails. These bars are partly covered over for protection against shock. Attached to the motor car are two pieces of metal which run along the copper bars, and the electricity is then car-ried to the dynamo on the cars which, when in motion, drives the car by means of a series of pulleys and belting. The electrician on the car has full control of the movements of this motor just as if he were running a marine engine or locomotive. By means of a handle he immediately reverses the motion of the dynamo on the car. To stop the car he simply breaks the current of electricity, which stops both car and style of an old wire sweep, and was carried on top of the car, the rails being used as a return. During the last five days of that year’s fair, 50,000 people were carried to and fro. This was then considered wonderful, but 20 years later the Toronto Rail-way Co. carried (including transfers) 250,000 passengers in a single day.
THE RAILWAY AND MARINE WORLD July, 1907