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Brockville, & Ottawa Railway
Date Chronology of Events
22 April 1853 Brockville & Ottawa Railway  (B&O) incorporated Statutes of the Province of Upper Canada Act 16 Chapter 106
29 November 1855 Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) opened Montreal - Brockville
17 February 1859 Line Opened Brockville - Smiths Falls
17 February 1859 - Smiths Falls - Perth Branch
22 August 1859 - Smiths Falls - Almonte
31 December 1860 - Brockville Tunnel Opened
06 December 1864 - Almonte - Arnprior
September 1865 - Arnprior - Sand Point
18 May 1861 Canada Central Railway (CCR) Incorporated Statutes of Upper Canada Act 24 Chapter 80
15 September 1870 CCR line opened Carleton Place (on B&O) to LeBreton Flats, Ottawa
31 May 1871 CCR and B&O controlled by Asa B. Foster
01 July 1872 CCR leases B&O line from Carleton Place to Sand Point.
04 December 1872 CCR line opened Sand Point - Renfrew
03 October 1876 - Renfrew - Pembroke
10 May 1878 CCR and B&O amalgamated under the name of Canada Central Railway (CCR) Statutes of Canada Act 41 Chapter 35
January 1879 Control of CCR sold to Duncan McIntyre and James Worthington, railway contractors from Montreal
February 1880 Worthington bankrupts and sells his interest in CCR to Duncan McIntyre in settlement of debts owed George Stephen and Richard B. Angus of the Bank of Montreal
24-25 April 1880 CCR converts from broad guage 5'6" to standard guage 4'8½" during Easter weekend
03 December 1880 CCR connects with Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa & Occidental (QMO&O) at LeBreton Flats, Ottawa
1881 Line opened Pembroke - Mattawa (all further construction to North Bay and Sudbury will be done under Canadian Pacific Railway)
06 June 1881 Amalgamated into Canadian Pacific Railway

The Brockville & Ottawa (B&O) and its successor Canada Central Railway (CCR) is considered to be one of the original components of today's Canadian Pacific Railway in Eastern Canada.  Incorporated in 1853, the B&O was empowered to build from Brockville on the St Lawrence River to Smiths Falls and thence to some point north on the Ottawa River.
The B&O was also empowered to build branch lines to Perth, Newboro, Westport, Merrickville, and Richmond, which were all major villages at that time.  Except for Perth, the B&O never made it to these places.  But that didn't mean the railway didn't have big ambitions.
The "Ottawa" in the B&O name did not refer to the City but rather to the river.  In 1853, the future capital of Canada was a small village called Bytown and was concentrated around the locks of the Rideau Canal.  If you look at a map you can see that the Ottawa River is one of the longest in Eastern Canada.  Big ambitions indeed!  Brockville was well positioned as the start of a railway into the western hinterland of Eastern Canada.  The city had a long history of commerce with many of its citizens making their fortune in the forwarding business on the St Lawrence River.  Vast tracts of pine forests lay within easy reach.  Britain and the United States had an insatiable demand for this lumber.  And who knew what mineral riches lay beyond the escarpment of the St Lawrence River and the Canadian Shield?
Construction started from Brockville in 1854 to link up with the Grand Trunk Railway which was then under construction along Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River from Toronto to Montreal.  Rails were first laid in 1858 and the main line from Brockville was opened to Smiths Falls on January 10 1859.  The branch line from Smiths Falls to Perth was opened at the same time.  On August 22, 1859, the B&O main line was opened from Smiths Falls to Carleton Place and on to Almonte.

B&O Locomotive 4-4-0 at Brockville waterfront station - date unknown.  We believe that the locomotive might have been named "Renfrew" which can be faintly seen below the cab window - although we aren't certain.  Maybe you can help us out.  It was the custom at the time to name locomotives after towns, cities, and even people.  Photo courtesy Brockville Museum, Brockville, Ont.