The Toronto and Nipissing (T&NR) was the first public passenger carrying narrow-gauge line in North America. Its goal was to reach as far as Lake Nipissing and connect Toronto (Ontario, Canada) with the recently completed Canadian Pacific Railway. It opened in 1871 with service via Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto to Uxbridge. By 1873, it was extended to Coboconk. That was as far as it reached as there were many miles of uninhabited and rugged terrain between Coboconk and Lake Nipissing which could not be economically developed.
The railway acquired many of its locomotives from Avonside in England. These included a unique Fairlie Articulated 0-6-6-0 locomotive as well as a number of 4-4-0's and 4-6-0's. The railroad also purchased six small 4-4-0's from the Canadian Engine and Machinery Company of Kingston, Ontario.
Its yards and terminus were at the foot of Parliament Street, opposite the Gooderham and Worts distillery and mill. By adding a third rail between Grand Trunk's standard gauge rails, the line ran east to Scarborough Junction, where it turned north.
Ten years later, the railway was taken over by the Midland Railway, which in turn was taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1883.