Our journey starts in the Union Station in the heart of Ottawa, beside the Rideau Canal and across the street from the Chateau Laurier hotel, built by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1912.
The photograph above was taken in May 1945. The view is facing north, and shows the train shed and platforms. Beyond the train shed is the original Union Station, built by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1911, and beyond the station is the Chateau Laurier. To the west of the station is the Rideau Canal, the historic waterway constructed by Colonel John By between 1826 and 1832, that flows north-south through the heart of Ottawa. The Parliament buildings are visible in the background.
In the coach yard adjacent to the Rideau Canal, Mattingly and other railway enthusiasts could view the local passenger trains of both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways being cleaned and made up ready for their runs.