Date: 1878

Origin: CNE Archives

The Machinery Hall was the science centre of its day. Inside the spacious building, new and novel industrial machinery was on display. And, like the Agricultural Implements Building, there was a powered shafting system to operate the fantastic new machines.

Machinery Hall was a large, heavily framed wooden building, 202 feet in length and 321 feet in width. Towering over the building was a smoke stack 65 feet in height. In the early days of the Exhibition, huge coal-fired steam engines were displayed in this building. But only a few years later, electrical motors, machines, and gadgets were catching the public’s fancy. The Globe reported that a “conspicuous feature of the display is the prominence given to electrical apparatus. Those interested in noting the progress of electrical discovery, and the application of this mysterious force to practical uses, will find here much to arrest their attention” (The Globe, Aug. 25, 1894).

Of particular interest was the fact that the building was situated in close proximity to the line of the Great Western Railway, and was connected to it by means of a switch. Machinery for the exhibition was delivered on to a platform from the railway cars, and from there moved directly into the Machinery Hall.

In the early 1930s, Machinery Hall was renamed the Stove Building and used primarily to display and promote the latest in domestic technology. When the CNE reopened after World War II, Machinery Hall was no longer used for exhibits but for storage. In 1959, the construction of the Gardiner Expressway necessitated the demolition of Machinery Hall as well as the second Dufferin Gate.