Volume #1 – Your Stories (Vos histoires)

Comment l’annulation du Northlander vous a impacté?

Name / Nom: B.M.
Comments / Commentaires: I have had extensive ortho surgery in Toronto. I used to be able to travel to Toronto via bus for appointments and return by train.. Since it was cancelled I now must wait for return bus at 7:45 pm which means I do not get home till 1 am very long tiring day for anyone let alone this senior . Have had two hips and two knees replaced! Driving is out of the question traffic has become too busy.

Name / Nom: Heather Smithers
Comments / Commentaires: I live in North Bay and unfortunately am unable to obtain a drivers license due to medical reasons. Having both MS and Epilepsy presents enough challenges without having to stress about dr. Appts.

Bus trips are not possible at times due to pain and mobility issues as I use a wheelchair.
My MS clinic is in Ottawa and my Epilepsy clinic is in London Ontario. Trying to maintain my independence and not having to constantly rely on others has become impossible with the cancellation of our passenger rail service.

At this point I am exploring options of moving from a city I love because of this.

Name / Nom: Kerry Desilets
Comments / Commentaires: When I was in university in Waterloo, I would take the Via Rail to Toronto and the ONR all the way home to Kapuskasing. It was a great service! It wasn’t seriously expensive, safer than driving, and MUCH more comfortable than the bus! I was extremely disappointed when the service was cancelled even though I was now living back in Kap and no longer relied on the train.

This past year, I missed a funeral in Toronto for someone very special to me because we no longer have the train. My daughter was two months at the time, she wasn’t sleeping longer than a couple of hours and I was looking at a 12 hour drive by myself. I wasn’t comfortable taking my brand new infant on the bus and I was never going to be able to drive down myself. If the train had been an option, I could have gone to the funeral.

It would also allow my in laws a safe way to travel at Christmas every year. They come from Brampton for a week in December when the roads are bad and we worry every year. The train would alleviate our fears.

Name / Nom: Matti Ellis
Comments / Commentaires: I live up in Matheson and I must say, we have a large Mennonite population here in the north and surrounding communities. Mennonite especially line up to take the bus and I would surely imagine they would take the train if they could considering the connections available at union station for southwestern Ontario destinations in which they have family residing. I hope this group can bring these important facts to the leaders on the ONTC to reestablish the Northlander.

Name / Nom: Judy Jones
Comments / Commentaires: I have a daughter who lives up north just outside of Hearst. It’s been very difficult for her at times with travelling back and forth to see family as she had our first grandchild and would love to come visit more often but as winter sets in this will be very difficult as a few times when the have come home during the winter months they have been stuck out there with road closures due to bad weather as well as accidents in which could of been avoided if the train was still running to Cochrane. I feel that taking away train services and now less bus service is putting our families at risk!

Name / Nom: Mike Thompson
Comments / Commentaires: I live in Deep River, Ontario. My daughter is in Toronto and doesn’t drive. When she visits, I have to drive to Smiths Falls to pick her up from the train, about a 2.5 hour drive. Conversely, it is only 1.5 hours to North Bay, where the Northlander train used to have a stop. So, every trip is two hours more driving for me, four hours less time spent visiting per visit. We would definitely make use of the Northlander train were it to start up again! Busing is not an option, as there are too many stops and it takes even more time away from our visit.

Name / Nom: Linda Thomas-Ouellette
Comments / Commentaires: I used to go to Toronto on the train to visit my grandchildren. I am 68 and find the drive taxing. However during the ride I would work on my genealogy to share with them.

Name / Nom: Lynn Taylor
Comments / Commentaires: The cancellation is affecting a countless number of lives, because I can’t be the only one whose life was positively affected by the Northlander.

My parents separated when I was young. My mother, single with two young kids, tried to find work in North Bay after the separation, but there were no jobs for her. Feeling forced to move to where work could be found, we moved towards Toronto. Because of work schedules and drive time, my brother and I were sent for visitations to see our dad by travelling on the Northlander. If the Northlander was not in service, I don’t believe we would have visited him as much, if at all. My brother and I have fond memories of these trips, and are grateful to have experienced travelling by rail. All. of the crew was exceptional, and I’ve never received service like that since.

Porter has bailed on North Bay, but our city, along with all of the small northern communities,, need that connection whether it’s for work, medical reasons, or simply to stay maintain a social connection with those in the South.

Please bring back our Northlander.

Name / Nom: Sylvie Wilson
Comments / Commentaires: Hello, I’m just expressing the way I feel about the Northlander train’s cancellation in Northern Ontario. I worked on the Northlander train for almost 20 years and loved it, I really got to know how important it is for all Northern Ontario citizens as they shared their stories on how devastated they were when it was dismantled without any consultation.

We need this service to come back, the inclement weather we experience and since most health specialists are in southern cities, ex; Toronto etc. Students enjoyed travelling the train during holidays, it also provides wheelchair lifts for the handicaps, bar and food services, internet outlets for business people, The scenery is breathtaking in all seasons and enjoyed by the tourists. Together we can bring our Northlander back on track, the railway is what actually built our northern communities 😊

Name / Nom: Graeme Mackechnie
Comments / Commentaires: By putting so much more truck traffic on the roads it has made it a dangerous ordeal to drive on the northern highways. More trucks on the roads leads to more air pollution as well as litter. Toronto was the headwaters of our paediatric care,it was so easy,so convenient and so economical to get on a train at 8 and be in Toronto that evening at 6,all the while being able to attend to your child. The freedom from stress associated with the long drive to Toronto was alleviated by the train. The train was a boon to tourism. The train opened the north to foreign visitors,travelers who were here without vehicles


One thought on “Volume #1 – Your Stories (Vos histoires)

  1. My friend would travel down to visit her mother who lived in Toronto. Travel on the train was so comfortable. I would go with her and we would stay in Toronto for three or four days and take in a show and do some shopping. One time coming back there was a problem with the train so they transferred us to the bus. The bus was very uncomfortable and we couldn’t get up and move around – when it came time to leave the bus we were so achy and our muscles had cramped up. Now that I use a walker and my husband uses a wheelchair, we can’t think about trying to travel south to see relatives – it just would be so painful to travel by bus. We should be allowed equal rights and equal access to travel as people in Southern Ontario – taking our train away turned us into second (or third) class citizens.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s