The Model Railroad Club of Toronto
The Model Railroad Club of Toronto (MRCT) was founded in 1938 by Harry Ebert and Borden Lilley. The club was originally located in Harry Ebert’s basement, later moved to Toronto’s Union Station, and in January 1946, moved to it's current location at 171 East Liberty Street (in Liberty Village), a former munitions factory.
The MRCT will mark it's 75th anniversary season in 2013 with a bittersweet celebration - an open house and then a move to another location. As a recent casualty of Toronto's booming condo development drive, the MRCT will dismantle the model railroad display in early Spring, and will not continue its decades long Liberty Village tenancy.
Thankfully, the Club has found a new location in the east end of the Toronto. But before the transition takes place, be sure to catch a final glimpse of Canada's largest (and oldest) railroad display. The 75th Anniversary and (final) Liberty Village open house will take place on Saturday Feb. 2 to Sunday Feb. 3, Saturday Feb. 9 to Sunday Feb. 10, Saturday Feb. 16 to Sunday Feb. 17, and on Family Day, Monday Feb. 18. All show times are 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children, and $8 for seniors.
We visited the MRTC during the holidays and while my son was thrilled to see a vast collection of scale trains racing along the tracks, I was most impressed with the all of the incredible display details. Take a look at our photographs:
A Few Tips
The MRCT is housed in a basement-like space. Therefore, strollers need to be left at the top of the stairs.
As the afternoon progressed, the Club became more crowded and difficult to navigate. Go early (noon seemed to be ideal).
Bring your own stepping stool. Since the railway layout is at the height of an adult’s waist, it’s difficult for children to see. There are a few benches for the children to stand on top of, but we found it much more useful to just bring our own stool from home. My son was able to view the layout from multiple vantage points.
There is a small snack bar and seating area (with a train video playing on a television).
Children are not allowed to touch the trains or tracks, which can be difficult for little ones. I suggest telling your kids about this rule prior to visiting the club.
Limited free parking is available on-site, with additional metered parking in the surrounding area.