The Township of Bonfield was inducted into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame in 2002 as the location of the Canadian Pacific Railway 'First Spike'. An old CPR Caboose in Bonfield
Bonfield is part of the legend of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) - which stretches approximately 22,500 route kilometres (14,000 miles) across Canada and into the United States,
The CPR was Canada's first transcontinental railway. It was built from 1881 - 1885 to connect existing eastern lines with British Columbia on the west coast of Canada.
Canada's confederation on July 1, 1867 brought four eastern provinces together to form a new country.
British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada, agreed to join the confederation in 1871, with the promise that a physical transport link would be built to connect the west to the east.
The Conservative government of Sir John A. Macdonald, Prime Minister of the day, proposed to build a railway linking the Pacific province to the eastern provinces within 10 years of July 20, 1871.
Westward construction of the CPR was to start where the Canadian Central Railway (CCR) extension west from the Ottawa Valley ended in Bonfield.
"Thus it was in Bonfield Township in the spring of 1882 that the eastern division of the CPR began construction west towards Lake Nipissing and the west coast. At a location west of the present station of Bonfield on what is now known as the Ottawa Valley Railway's North Bay Subdivision, the "First Spike" in Sir John A. Macdonald's National Dream was driven."
-The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame, www.railfame.ca
This incredible engineering feat was completed on Nov.7, 1885 - six years ahead of schedule - when the last spike was driven at Craigellachie, B.C. The First Transcontinental Train, 1886.
Library and Archives Canada/Image # C-014464