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Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway Company


George Mountain's survey party of 24 men left Ottawa on November 20, 1891 to survey the line through the Nipissing district.  They returned March 8, 1892. They had surveyed 120 miles of road to the west and travelled over 500 miles of rough country on foot. Costs of the survey trip were about $60 per day ($2.50 per man). The party met with extraordinary difficulties, having to cut their way through a wilderness of dense bush, travelling on snowshoes and dragging their supplies on sleds behind them. The country is not settled at all, and only a few trappers and hunters were encountered. [Renfrew Mercury, March 11, 1892]

Mountain’s plans, profiles and estimates were to be presented to Mr. J. R. Booth in mid-March, 1892.[Renfrew Mercury, March 11, 1892]

Atlantic and Northwestern (CPR) filed plans overlapping OA&PS for 3/4 mile on shores of Golden Lake.
Renfrew Mercury. 1893-04-28
Engineers surveying the line from Long Lake to Emsdale. Huntsville, 1894-11-16


The line was carefully graded and ballasted.  When it was suggested that trains would be able to travel at 40 mph, Booth replied that his trains would go at 60 mph or he would have no use for them. [Renfrew Mercury, 1893-08-23].  The original rails were manufactured in Sheffield, 72 lbs;  track had 3000 ties per mile (350 more than any other railway in Canada at the time) [Lavallee 64].


1892-07 (end)
First sod turned near Carp by George Kidd, MPP, then warden of the county.
Ottawa Journal, 1896-10-31
Forty teams at work at Carp.
Eganville Enterprise, 1892-07-27
About five or six miles completed at Carp.
Renfrew Mercury, 1892-08-05
Ten miles graded in Huntly, Fitzroy and March townships.
Renfrew Mercury, 1892-08-26
Grading under way between Kinburn and Galetta.
Renfrew Mercury, 1892-09-09
Brewder and McNaughton building bridges over the Mississippi at Hobb's Falls, Carp and Hunter's Creek.  All bridges to be complete by the end of the construction season.
Renfrew Mercury, 1892-10-28
Engineering staff leave Arnprior for Renfrew.
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-04-14
Tenders for construction between Arnprior and Renfrew opened
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-04-28
1893-05Account of first passenger coach to traverse the line from Ottawa to Arnprior appears in Ottawa Journal.  Speed of 25 mph attained on unballasted line with George Mountain, J.R.Booth and other officials aboard.[Lavallee 64] 
James Prince contracted for 5 1/2 miles from Neitzel's farm in Grattan to Indian Point in South Algona
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-09-01
On Wednesday there was a rumour that there had been more trouble between the Canadian Pacific and Ottawa & Parry Sound railways:  this time over the level crossing at Arnprior.  It was said, even, that there had nearly been bloodshed between the workmen of the two lines.  We learn that the difficulty was no more than this — that the “diamond” at the crossing was put in on Sunday. Before the O & PS can run their cars over this it is necessary that they should have 1,700 feet of rail laid on the opposite side of the track, on which their trains can stand clear of the CPR lines.  In building this 1,700 feet the O & PS workmen ran their line close to the CPR track so that they had to carry their rails only over the few feet of track way.  The CPR authorities gave instruction to their men to tear up the O & PS line on their property until the 1,700 feet had been completed: compelling the O & PS workmen to cart their rails across 66 feet of land instead of over the railway track only.  The CPR workmen tore up the O & PS track while the O & PS men promptly laid it down again: and there the affair ended up to the time of THE MERCURY’S information.”
Renfrew Mercury. 1893-09-22
Construction reached near Golden Lake
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-09-22
E.J.Chamberlain, G.Mountain, T.G.Rideout, Government engineer inspected the line
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-09-22
Ballasting between Round and Golden Lakes.  Ballast is from Galetta Pit. Laying rail through Renfrew town to Admaston in the past week.
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-11-10
Heald, contractor for Golden Lake to Killaloe will work all winter on cutting out the ROW
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-12-22
1894 Line opened Renfrew to Golden Lake, 28.25 miles CNRHist
Wilson has contract for building all bridges on OA&PS.  Four in 1894, 2 in 1895.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-09-07
Contractor Heald working above Golden Lake.  Contract for road to Egan Estate let.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-03-30
1894-04-26 Labourers gathering at the end of steel to commence work for the summer Ottawa Journal, 1894-04-26  
R.Weddel won contract to bridge the Bonnechere.  J.W.Monroe of Pembroke, F.Hilliard of Renfrew competed
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-05-01
Contract to Killaloe is winding up.  Track from Eganville to Golden Lake ballasted.  Ground broken through Haggarty pass to mile 129. Parry Sound Colonization Ry is within ten miles of Parry Sound.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-05-25
Laying steel west of Golden Lake; 175 ballast cars per day.  George Richardson is contractor beyond Eganville.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-06-08
1100 men working on construction, plagued by whiskey peddlers.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-07-06
Calling for 100 men and 30 teams for construction at Wilno under O'Brien and McDonald
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-07-20
Heald, the contractor has moved his men from Killaloe to his upper contract at Long Lake.  The rails are now three miles past Killaloe.  Contractor O’Brien will be finished soon.  All the rock cuts are completed.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-08-17
Rail laid to Carson's Lake.
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-10-19
Workforce being released for the winter.  Blasting and clearing to continue through the winter.
Ottawa Journal, 1894-11-23
Line from Barry's Bay to Opeongo Forks passed inspection by Mr. Lynch, government engineer.  Rails laid 12 miles beyond.
Huntsville Forester, 1894-11-30
Madawaska announced as division point
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-11-30
Construction work ending for the season
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-12-14
1895 Line opened Golden Lake to Whitney, 60 miles CNRHist
O'Neil and Ferguson were contractors in the Whitney area.  Mr Force was the contractor 20 miles above Whitney.  Stone subcontractor was Keating
Ottawa Enterprise, 1895-07-12
Steel laid to four miles west of Whitney, ballasting close behind.
Eganville Star, 1895-09-06
Line complete to within one mile of Parry Sound.  Last ten mile section by Plouf.
Ottawa Citizen, 1895-10-05
Rail laid to ten miles west of Whitney
Ottawa Journal, 1895-10-04
Teams busy lowering the swamp near the Rose Point Hotel.  Given up filling Willet's Lake, and now driving piles for a bridge across the lake.
Huntsville Forester, 1895-10-18
Construction season ended.  Workers laid off.
Huntsville Forester, 1895-11-08
McCallum inspected ten miles of line through Nightingale, Canisby and Airy townships.  Found in good condition. 
Ottawa Journal, 1895-11-29
McCallum (Ontario inspector) and Cuddy (dominion inspector) inspected last ten miles between White Fish Lake and Cache Lake.  Road completed to 168 miles west of Ottawa
Eganville Enterprise, 1895-12-13
1896 Line opened Whitney to Cache Lake, 20 miles CNRHist
Farquier awarded line between Lake of Two Rivers and Scotia.  47 miles.  Close to $500,000 [Huntsville Forester, 1896-02-26]
Ottawa Citizen, 1896-01-24
Fauquier getting in provisions for the start of work before winter roads break up.  D.D.McDonald & Co are contractors for first 10 miles.  C.Campbell of Eganville has another contract.  At the western end, the last eight miles into Depot Harbor were inspected by Thomas Ridout (dominion inspector) and McCallum (Ontario).  J.E.Switzer surveying eastward from Emsdale.Renfrew Mercury, 1896-02-14
Pilings being driven in two bays of Cache Lake.  O'Neill and Ferguson on contract in the area.
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-03-07
Cook is a sub-contractor on OAPS; J.J.Jollife awarded contract for filling and scraping
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-03-20
Piling and clearing almost complete.
Ottawa Journal, 1896-05-01
Telegraph line extending west of Cache Lake.  Steam shovel moving from Brennan's pit to Montgomery pit.
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-09-09
Ends of steel are twenty three miles apart.
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-09-18
Booth takes about 100 senators and members of parliament to end of line.
Ottawa Journal, 1896-10-02
1896-10-05 OA&PS formed by amalgamation of Ottawa & Parry Sound Railway Co. and Ottawa, Arnprior & Renfrew Ry Co. Effected by deed of amalgamation dated 1891-05-18, and ratified by shareholders. Bell p158
About ten miles of track remain to be laid.
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-10-16
Final rails (to be) laid.
Ottawa Journal, 1896-10-31
Final government inspection (to be) completed by Robert McCallum (Ontario)
Ottawa Journal, 1896-10-31 
1897 Line opened Cache Lake to Scotia, 49.25 miles CNRHist
1898 Line opened Rose Point to Depot Harbor CNRHist
1898-11-18 McCauley Lake branch nearing completion. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-04-28 Spur to Parry Sound under discussion. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-06-09 Mountain says much land-clearing under way, resulting in fencing. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury



Parry Sound Colonization Railroad received a grant for $64000 for twenty miles [Renfrew Mercury, 1894-07-20].



In April, 1892, Dr. Dowling, M. P. P., introduced a deputation consisting of J. R. Booth, and F. Fleck, as well as several Renfrew-area men of importance. The company wished to ask for government aid in building that part of the road which extended through the colonization and unorganized districts. [Renfrew Mercury,April 15, 1892]

In April, 1893, JRBooth again interviewed the provincial government, asking for a grant of $3000 per mile for the portion of line between Barry's Bay and Scotia. [Renfrew Mercury, 1893-04-28]

A cash subsidy was granted to Fauquier to build 35 miles west of Barry's Bay, conditional on fire protection regulations.  The Toronto Board of Trade opposed the grant as it was practically a private line. [Renfrew Mercury, 1894-05-01]


$75,000 or $45,000
The town of Arnprior, or at least the Arnprior Chronicle chastised Renfrew for not following their lead with subsidy.  Both amounts (45K and 75K) are from the same issue of the Renfrew Mercury. [Renfrew Mercury, 1892-07-01]
$1,500 proposed
Ratepayers of Eganville voted down a proposal to split $1500 bonus between OAPS and A&NW. [Renfrew Mercury, 1892-09-30]
Hagarty and Richards Townships
$2,000 proposed
The townships proposed to raise $2000 to buy OA&PS stock.  The vote was to take place 1892-07-18 [Renfrew Mercury, 1892-07-01].
1892-10-03 meeting of Ottawa Board of Trade discussed application for bonus.  Presentations from A.W.Fleck, Mountain, C.J.Smith.  Unanimously carried a motion to submit a report to city council recommending a substantial bonus. [Renfrew Mercury, 1892-10-07]
The rate payers in Ottawa carried a by-law to bonus Mr. Booth’s railway: $50,000 to be paid when the road is completed to Arnprior, $50,000 when completed to Renfrew and $50,000 on the completion of a fine station in Ottawa. The vote was 2,938 in favour and 396 against.[Renfrew Mercury, 1893-01-06]


1893-05Regular freight is operating as far as Arnprior.  Train of ten loads, two empties taken west from Ottawa this morning.[Lavallee 64] 
Regular passenger service from Renfrew to Ottawa started.  The first train of two passenger cars arrived on time despite very cold weather and heavy snow.  The only passenger from Renfrew was Mr J.A.Ferguson of Arnprior; no passengers alighted in Renfrew (despite report in Ottawa Evening Journal to the contrary).
Renfrew Mercury, 1893-12-22
Lots of lumber going through to Albany and Boston.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-04-06
Excursion fares from Renfrew: Portland return at $9.95.  Moncton return at $12.05
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-07-20

Two two-car trains of dynamite (10 tons per car) dispatched from Ottawa to Whitney four hours apart.  Arrived Whitney early Saturday 1894-03-23.

Renfrew Mercury, 1895-03-29  
The train between Eganville and Whitney is two cars long; often standing room only.
Renfrew Mercury, 1895-03-29
Passenger traffic rivals CA
Ottawa Journal, 1895-04-12
Mr M.T.Stafford of Renfrew shipped several carloads of pressed hay from Renfrew to Whitney.
Eganville Star, 1895-09-06
Mail dispatched over PSCRy between Parry Sound, Emsdale, Sprucedale and Seguin.
Huntsville Forester, 1895-10-18
Booth experimenting with winter sawing.  Logs to be shipped directly to Chaudiere from Egan limits on Madawaska
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-01-31
Passengers now running to Whitney
Eganville Leader, 1896-02-17
First through freight train from Parry Sound to Ottawa.  It was 35 cars long.
Huntsville Forester, 1896-10-09
How this was accomplished given the rails weren't completed until 11-02, boggles the imagination.
Regular passenger trains to commence between Madawaska and Ottawa.  Mixed train service between Madawaska and Canoe Lake.
Ottawa Journal, 1896-10-31 
First three cars of freight loaded from Ottawa to Depot Harbor within a 35-car train.
Arprior Semi-Weekly News, 1896-11-20
First through passenger train left Ottawa on Monday, Dec 21 at 8am and arrived at Depot Harbor at 8pm.  No through passengers from Ottawa to Depot Harbor, but several officials made the trip.  Regular service from Depot Harbor leaves 7am, arrives Ottawa at 6:30 pm and Montreal, 10:15pm.
Renfrew Mercury, 1896-12-25
First through passenger from Parry Sound to Ottawa was William Taylor, his wife and daughter.
Ottawa Journal, 1896-12-31
Excursion fare Renfrew to Parry Sound and return for $2.75
Renfrew Mercury, 1897-05-21
Excursion fares for races at Lansdowne: Douglas $1.55, Renfrew $1.30
Fleming: Renfrew Mercury
1898-05-27 Reported 100 loaded cars eastbound and 50 loaded cars westbound per day. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1898-06-03 No train may pass a station until the preceding train has passed the next station. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
12 million bushels of grain, 100,000 tons of flour, glucose, pork etc from Parry Sound to Ottawa this season
Huntsville Forester, 1898-11-04
12 to 20 eastbound trains a day during the navigation season this year.  Westbound freight as high as $25,000 per month
Huntsville Forester, 1898-12-19
1899-03-31 Mail contract for year ended 1898-06-30 gave OA&PS $6999.92. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-04-28 OAPS to run 14 trains per day through Pembroke (?). Summer traffic to be 48 trains per day. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-04-28 Discussion regarding freight boats year round. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-06-23OAPS starting weekly reefer shipments from Renfrew to Montreal.Fleming:Renfrew Mercury 
1908 Summer 1908 GTR timetable shows one train each way daily except Sunday, meeting at Eganville.  
 53 (Westward) 52 (Eastward)
11:50 AM  Ottawa 4:30 PM 
9:20 PM Depot Harbor7:15 AM 
[Lavallee 64] 


Date Event Source Notes
1891-07-31 Formed from amalgamation of Ottawa and Parry Sound Ry Co and Ottawa,Arnprior and Renfrew Ry Co. Deed of amalgamation 1896-07-15. Victoria 54-55, chapter 93. Bell p158
1896-10-05 OA&PS formed by amalgamation of Ottawa & Parry Sound Railway Co. and Ottawa, Arnprior & Renfrew Ry Co. Effected by deed of amalgamation dated 1891-05-18, and ratified by shareholders. Bell p158
1898-01-21 Excursion fares for races at Lansdowne: Douglas $1.55, Renfrew $1.30. Fleming: Renfrew Mercury
1898-07-01 Sectionmen of CA & OAPS went on strike demanding $.25 increase on $1 per day Fleming:Renfrew Mercury, 1898-07-08
1898-07-08 Sectionmen strike over. 10 cent per day increase won. Fleming:Pembroke Observer, 1898-07-08
1899-01-20 OAPS received subsidy of $327,232. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-03-24 OAPS issues writ to restrain St.Anthony Lumber company from damaging the line. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-04-28 Spur to Parry Sound under discussion. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-04-28 Discussion regarding freight boats year round. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-06-16 Bill introduced by Mr.Belcourt to amalgamate CA and OA&PS. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-08-11 Amalgamated with Canada Atlantic Railway Company, by deed of amalgamation, dated 1899-06-06.. Bell p158


Date Event Source Notes
Line between Eganville and Golden Lake damaged by flood.
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-04-06
1894-08-1 approx
George Marsten of Carlow, William Kellar of Palmer Rapids and an William Deep of England were killed by dynamite explosion at the western outlet of Hagarty Pass
Renfrew Mercury, 1894-08-10; Renfrew Mercury, 1894-08-17
1895-01-01 approx
Bystander Bourdeau of Arnprior fell into steam shovel and was dumped on a flat car.  Broke his wrist and badly cut on face.
Renfrew Mercury, 1895-01-04
One Swede killed, Matt. Sohr and Matt Mattson seriously injured in dynamite accident about seven miles west of Whitney.
Eganville Enterprise, 1895-08-02
Eastbound train of seven cars and pay van derailed between Renfrew and Douglas.  Nobody badly hurt.  Engineer Turner and the rest of the crew stuck to their posts.
Citizen, 1895-09-23.  Thanks to Mark Cullen
Bodies of James Ryan, Louis St. Pierre, (foreman) John McLeod brought down from blasting accident.  A second St Pierre was injured and taken to Ottawa Hospital
Ottawa Citizen, 1896-08-07
1898-01-14 George P. Sills issued writ for death of Arthur Sills. $5000. Fleming: Renfrew Mercury
1898-05-13 Pembroke Observer reports 2 freight trains collided near Edgington. First train was rear-ended by second eastbound after stalling on hill. Fireman Frank Walker (26) of Parry Sound killed; John McQuaig of Ottawa broke leg; engineer Crogham remained in cab, unscathed. Fleming:Pembroke Observer, 1898-05-13
1898-05-27 13 cattle, valued at $275, killed near Eganville. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1898-06-10 3 horses from Barry's Bay killed. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1898-06-10 Train went through trestle between Brule and Rainy Lake. Engineer Bearly broke leg. Fireman Albert, Conductor M. Gourlay shaken. Four cars and engine damaged. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1898-11-11 Trestle near Cache Lake shifted, delaying mail train. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1898-12-16 Special train of OAPS was derailed due to broken engine wheel. Fleming:Pembroke Observer, 1898-12-16
1899-03-31 Trestle two miles east of Canoe Lake collapsed. Trestles are being filled night and day. Passenger trains are slowing for all trestles; in some cases, passengers are on foot. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury
1899-04-21 Derailment at Brule Lake caused by washout. Fireman W.McLean of Lanark killed. Brakeman J.McDonald of Canoe Lake and engineer J.Campbell of Chicago injured. Fleming:Renfrew Mercury