June 27, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)


Well, if only drunken men were killed on these crossings we would have fewer casualties. But any person is liable to meet with an accident at the old station. We are forced to use it by reason of the refusal of the railway companies to carry out their agreement. Now, that agreement was not forced upon them, it was the outcome of their own proposition. I am not going to curse the former government, bt cause this happened in the middle of 1913, and during the war we could hardly expect the necessary expenditure to be made. But I think the time is come when something should be done, w'hen at least a start should be made in carrying this work to completion. It is going to take several years to construct, and during this time we will have to suffer more or less inconvenience, but we shall be willing to put up with this in the sure and certain hope of ultimately having relief. We have spent
820,000,000, and I presume before we are through wTe will spend another 810,000,000, on our harbour, and we hope that from the construction of that harbour our water borne traffic will largely increase. But every ton of freight that comes in by water now has to
Supply-Toronto Viaduct

cross these eight or ten or twelve tracks at Yonge street, Church street, Bay street or some other street. That is a serious handicap against the development of water borne traffic that ought to be removed; there ought to be free access for the freight traffic as well as for the passenger traffic to the pier heads in our city. During the summer months the volume of passenger traffic out of Toronto to the St. Lawrence, to the Niagara, to Hamilton to Port Dalhousie and Grimsby is enormous, to say nothing of that which goes to the Island every day. A number of people approximating 25 per cent of the whole population of the city crosses these tracks every day. It is a condition that I do not think exists anywhere else on the North American continent, and it is one which the government really ought to take some steps to alleviate. I know the Minister of Railways is familiar with the situation there, and I do hope he will persuade his colleagues to put an appropriation in the estimates this session. It is not too late yet; we can bring down another list of supplementary estimates. That would give my hon friend the Postmaster General (Mr. Murphy) a chance, because I am told there is nothing for his department in the present estimates.

Full View