Roundhouse: Servicing and light repairs

Roundhouse Park

Roundhouse Park

When I attended the Canadian Writers Summit in Toronto, Canada this summer, the daily walk from my hotel to the conference site at the Harbourfront Centre took me through Roundhouse Park. When I walked there my steps slowed, and I had to stop to contemplate the metal tracks and the mighty engines on display. I could not walk through the park apace. Something about the circular shape and the radiating rail lines gave the site a sacred feel. In slowing down, in breathing in the spirit of the place, I felt reinvigorated.

In the early days of rail travel, steam locomotives could only travel forwards. Toronto-bound locomotives arrived at the John Street roundhouse for servicing and light repairs. The turntable allowed the locomotives to be turned around for the return journey.

According to the Toronto Railway Historical Association, the locomotives serviced there were “so attractively maintained that their appearance became known among railroaders as the ‘John Street polish’.”

Today, Roundhouse Park no longer services locomotives, but it still provide servicing and light repairs. Like a forward-moving locomotive, I arrived in Toronto this summer and the John Street roundhouse gave my creative soul a “John Street polish” of a different sort.

We all need a little servicing and light repairs from time to time. Where is your “roundhouse?”

Roundhouse Park

Roundhouse Park

About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on August 9, 2016, in Inspiration, Lifestyle, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. We have a round house of our own, albeit a smaller version, in our own backyard in Wakefield, Quebec. It was a place for seniors to remember and children to watch in awe as the engine for the Wakefield Train was turned manually by volunteer passengers and bystanders. How sad it sits idle in recent years.

    My own personal roundhouse is, and always has been, my church.

  2. I didn’t know about the Wakefield roundhouse. I will have to visit there. And I have a roundhouse church too. Lucky us!

  3. I didn’t see the Roundhouse Park when I was in Toronto. Dang. I wish you would have told me about it. Oh well…. maybe next time.

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