Volleyball, anyone?

Driving First Spike for Toronto and Eastern Railway, October 31, 1923, Toronto Daily Star. Whitby Archives 14-003-001.

Toronto. Most of us can remember the photograph in the late 1800s showing dignitaries at “the last spike” in the CPR line connecting BC with the rest of Canada without need to detour down into the States.

In this case, ‘the first spike’ was recorded in Whitby in 1923 in a Toronto Star photograph celebrating the start of construction on the Toronto and Eastern Railway. which was to become a commuter railway from Toronto to Oshawa. Dignitaries included the then Whitby Mayor, Norman Bassett, and Mr E.W. Oliver the then manager of CNR’s electric lines.

The ill-fated line was built along Mary Street in Whitby. While construction of the line actually began a decade earlier in 1913,  it was suspended year later and didn’t resume until 1923 (four years after WW1 ended). Sadly the line was never completed – the rails were torn up in 1927.

Once again, we must say thank you to my good friend and fellow photo historian, George Dunbar, for finding and sharing this rather unique bit of Canadian history recorded by photography. Oh yes, in Volleyball there was always a ‘spiker’ ready to score at the net.

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