Our Community PartnersSouthern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society (SOLRS)
We are proud to work with a variety of community partners to ensure that Waterloo Central Railway continues to enrich the cultural experience in our region.
Our Community Partners
Region of Waterloo
- In 2001, the Region of Waterloo acquired the “Waterloo Spur of the CN Guelph Subdivision”—the railway branch that runs north from Kitchener to Elmira, Ontario—from the former Waterloo-St. Jacobs Railway in order to preserve the railway corridor intact for potential future transit needs.
- In 2007, SOLRS entered into a three-way lease agreement with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and the City of Waterloo for the use of the Waterloo Spur. They also entered into a contract to provide passenger train service.
- Today, as the owner of the Waterloo Spur railway right-of-way, the Region of Waterloo regulates movement on the spur and is responsible for track maintenance and repair.
Township of Woolwich
- The Township of Woolwich is home to our railway branch and its stations in the St. Jacobs Market District, the Village of St. Jacobs, and the Town of Elmira.
- The Township of Woolwich also oversees Schaner Park, located next to our St. Jacobs Restoration Shop.
Mercedes Corporation & St. Jacobs Country
- The 1970s saw a rise in tour groups visiting Waterloo Region to observe and experience the traditions of Waterloo County and its Old Order Mennonite population.
- A local Mennonite church congregation began offering church suppers to these tours. These church suppers offered an opportunity to experience an accurate and meaningful interpretation of the Old Order faith and lifestyle.
- In time, as these dinners grew in popularity. The same church group envisioned a more formal restaurant to serve the growing market. They also envisioned a Visitor and Information Centre to share the story of the Mennonite Faith with visitors. The church group approached local entrepreneur Milo Shantz to help develop these plans.
- In 1975, Shantz launched the Stone Crock Restaurant.
- In 1981, he established the Mercedes Corporation property management company to reshape and revitalize St. Jacobs.
- In the decades that followed, Milo, his family, and his partners have been instrumental in reshaping St. Jacobs, creating a multi-million dollar business that has established it as a destination for thousands of tourists every year.
- Today, the Mercedes Corporation owns numerous ventures in the area called Jacobs Country, including much of the commercial property in St. Jacobs, and the St. Jacobs Market district.
- Until Milo passed away in 2009, he was a long-time railway fan, who visited the Station often and was active supporter of our railway.
- SOLRS is grateful for the continued support of the Shantz family and the Mercedes Corporation.
- To find St. Jacobs accommodations nearby, visit HotelsCombined