Evolution of Agincourt GO

Written by Nitish Bissonauth, Bilingual Editorial Content Advisor, Metrolinx
A look at the original Agincourt train station, built in 1871. (Scarborough Historical Society Photograph, Courtesy of Metrolinx)

A look at the original Agincourt train station, built in 1871. (Scarborough Historical Society Photograph, Courtesy of Metrolinx)

With 150-year-old roots, Agincourt GO is one of the newest Stouffville Line stations.

Agincourt GO Station is a longstanding hub for the historic Scarborough, Ontario 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 152 years, before the lightbulb was invented.

Once used by Toronto and Nipissing Railway, Grand Trunk Railway and finally by CN, 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 Trunk Railway was built in 1856 along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, the railway resulted in a boom to the communities through which it 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 reported.

As transportation improved over the years and farmland disappeared, the old railway station ceased to serve its original purpose.

Agincourt GO 1970s
According to the Toronto Railway Historical Association, only two trains per day stopped at Agincourt in the 1970s. About a decade later, it would be demolished to make room for the first Agincourt GO Station in 1982 (Cheryl Preston Photograph, Courtesy of Metrolinx).

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.

Agincourt GO Station completion photos
The newly upgraded Agincourt GO Station—more than 150 years after the original was built. (EllisDon Photograph, Courtesy of Metrolinx)

With a new passenger pick-up and drop-off area, a new second track and platform, and integrated shelters on the platforms to protect passengers from the elements, the station is transforming the area, just like its predecessor.

The new features better accommodate the additional riders 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 on the Metrolinx website.

This article first appeared on the Metrolinx website.

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