Canadian National No. 6213 is the only steam locomotive owned by the City of Toronto. The engine rests at Exhibition Park, some two kilometres west of the John St. roundhouse. No. 6213 was built in August 1942 by the Montreal Locomotive Works. It was part of an order of 35 identical locomotives built for the Canadian National Railways during World War II. It is a U-2 class Northern-type steam locomotive with a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement and was used to haul both passenger and freight trains well over a million miles during its 17-year career based in locations that ranged from Halifax on the east coast to the prairies of Saskatchewan.
No. 6213 was retired from active duty in 1959 and sat on the scrap line for several months, during which she was cannibalized for parts. She was selected for preservation because she was typical of the last steam locomotives used in regular passenger service in the Toronto area. CN workers then replaced the missing parts from other locomotives sitting on the scrap line. In 1960, Canadian National Railways presented No. 6213 to the City of Toronto. She was moved to the Exhibition Grounds by laying temporary track from the railway corridor to its present location adjacent to the old Stanley Barracks.
Unlike other outdoor display locomotives that have been allowed to deteriorate in the elements, No. 6213 has been lovingly maintained by a small group of dedicated volunteer preservationists who form the Toronto Locomotive Preservation Society (TLPS) . TLPS is one of many groups affiliated with the Toronto Railway Historical Association and we believe that No. 6213 is a fine candidate for restoration to full operation.