Back in time: A look at the evolution of Agincourt GO
Its roots are 150 years old, now Agincourt GO is one of the newest Stouffville Line stations.
Sep 26, 2023
Agincourt GO Station is a longstanding hub for the historic Scarborough community for which it shares a name.
The latest chapter in the station’s history saw it undergo a massive transformation. A new station building was built, and new platforms, tunnels and tracks were all added.
These upgrades are part of the larger GO Expansion program, which will benefit transit users and the community today and for decades to come.
But how did this station and the surrounding community come to be what it is today? It goes back to 152 years, before the lightbulb was invented.
Once used by Toronto and Nipissing Railway, the Grand Trunk Railway and finally by Canadian National Railway, the first rail station in Agincourt was built in 1871.
The station was simple and made of wood, but the impact it would have on the area would be significant.
“When the Grand Truck railway was built in 1856 along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, the railway resulted in a boom to the communities through which is passed, especially Scarborough Village,” explained Rick Schofield, chair and archivist with the Scarborough Historical Society.
According to Schofield, the first railway station provided an increase in transportation of goods, people, and services – it was an improvement over the then existing horse and wagon travel along dirt roads, the sole means of transportation at the time.
Thanks to the railway, more people would pass through Agincourt from the surrounding farmlands.
The railway allowed the Scarborough farmers to ship their grain to Gooderham and Worts Distillery and helped to move their produce to the markets of Toronto.
“Automobiles and improved roads on which to travel were still many years away and so the Agincourt railway station became an important part of the community during the latter half of the 19th century and into the early years of the 20th century,” Schofield said.
With the rail station, Agincourt residents could now travel more easily to Toronto’s commercial areas and helped the community grow more rapidly than other areas in Scarborough.
Yet despite Agincourt being one of the larger villages in Scarborough, as of 1912 it didn’t have a high school – the railway would not only help move goods, but also students.
“The railway actually allowed students graduating from elementary school to take the train to Markham where a high school had been established,” he said.
As transportation improved over the years and farmland disappeared, the old railway station ceased to serve its original purpose.
The station stood still until the 1970s when it was demolished to accommodate the first Agincourt GO Station built in 1982.
In 2021, the old station building was demolished and replaced with a modern transit station and then in 2023 the station’s new features were completed.
With a new passenger pick-up and drop-off area, a new second track and platform, as well as integrated shelters on the platforms to protect from the elements, the station is transforming the area, just like its predecessor.
The new features better accommodate the additional customers Metrolinx anticipates in the future as the transit agency prepares for 15-minute, two-way, all-day service between Unionville and Union Station.
The new Agincourt station is a new chapter in area’s railway history, one that will continue to further benefit future generations travelling from Scarborough to Toronto and beyond.
You can read more about the Agincourt GO Station improvements here.
by Nitish Bissonauth Metrolinx bilingual editorial content advisor