Before the coming of the railway, roads were difficult or non-existent.
The Kingston and Pembroke Railway crossed Sharbot Lake on a rock-filled causeway, May 8, 1876. The Canadian Pacific Railway from Ottawa to Toronto arrived May 5th, 1884. Traveling through the village, these two railways shared the same rail bed and station.
The K&P, affectionately known as the Kick and Push, was built to export lumber, minerals and other locally produced goods to Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto. That was quickly followed by tourism and population growth. As well, it became the link between the small communities that sprang up and down along the K&P line. Sharbot Lake prospered.
The Ontario and Quebec Railway was incorporated in April 14th, 1871 to build a railway from Ottawa to Toronto. Re-incorporated in May 1881 it built their mainline from Perth to Toronto. The CPR formalized its association with the O&Q Railroad by obtaining a 999 year lease on it January 4th, 1884.
Many men from this area worked on the railway. And while the trains no longer run, the stories these men tell can still be heard today. The Railway Heritage Park has been put together with the help of some of these men, their families and members of the community, to demonstrate the importance of the railway to the history of the area and to the people who lived here.
1871 On April 14th, a charter was granted to the K & P Co. to build a railway from Kingston to Pembroke.
1871 On April 14th, the Ontario and Quebec Railway is incorporated.
1872 Building the K&P began June 17th at Kingston.
1872 In May the Ontario and Quebec Railway plans a mainline from Ottawa to Toronto.
1875 K&P line opened to Iron Ore Junction, at Godfrey.
1876 K&P line opened to Sharbot Lake May 8th.
1878 K&P Line opened to Mississippi River.
1881 K&P Line opened to Lavant.
1882 K&P Line opened Clyde Lake.
1882 Ontario and Quebec Railway starts building a mainline from Perth to Toronto.
1883 K&P Line opened to Grassy Bay.
1883 Ontario and Quebec Railway complete section of track from Perth to Sharbot Lake.
1884 A new station was built in Sharbot Lake at the junction of K&P and CPR lines. CPR leased all its rights in the Ontario and Quebec Railway. The first through train between Ottawa and Toronto over the Ontario and Quebec Railway (now CPR) newly opened from Perth to Toronto arrived May 5th. Regular through trains between Montreal and Toronto commenced over this route on 28 July. A sinkhole near Kaladar prevented the start of through passenger service until August 11th.
1884 The K&P line was completed through to Renfrew where a connection was made with the CPR to Pembroke.
1885 The K&P carried Red-Coats to Renfrew where they left for the 2nd Riel Rebellion in the West.
1891 On June 11th, the funeral train from Ottawa carried the body of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, to Sharbot Lake where the train was changed onto the K&P line for his burial in Kingston.
1912 The second CPR Toronto-Montreal Line (Lake Shore Line) arrived in Tichborne.
1913 On January 1st, the K&P railway was leased to the CPR for 999 years.
1914 The new CPR Lake Shore line opened June 29.
1932 With business slack, the freight trains became “mixed, carrying both passengers and freight”.
1957 On June 14th, last through mixed trains (Kingston to Renfrew) on K&P
1960 On June 21 the last mixed train on the Canadian Pacific Kingston subdivision between Renfrew and Sharbot Lake. After this date freight trains only operated on this section.
1960 CPR Passenger trains 35 and 36 made their last runs on Saturday, April 23.
1961 The last through freight train on the K&P ran December 29.
1962 In January the track from Calabogie and Snow Road is abandoned.
1964 On January 1, the Canadian Pacific is authorized to abandon the Kingston subdivision between Sharbot Lake and Tichborne.
1966 In September track between Sharbot Lake and Snow Road is abandoned.
1966 January 23 east/west passenger service over the Havelock subdivision was terminated with the cancellation of Trains 33 and 34.
1966 The CPR applied to the Township of Oso to tear down the Sharbot Lake Station.
1970 The dismantling of the Sharbot Lake Station began. December 1, 1970 was the last train out of Sharbot Lake.
1971 July 23 the Canadian Pacific abandons the Havelock subdivision between Glen Tay and Tweed.
1977 In February the track between Calabogie and Renfrew is abandoned.
1986 The last run from Smiths Falls to Kingston and return took place on October 10.
(Items in Italics may be incorrect. We welcome information to verify or correct any of these facts.)