Dental Car CNR 15095
Visit the only remaining dental car in North America
In the 1930s the Ontario government funded a programme to provide dental care to children in remote Northern Ontario communities. Canadian Pacific donated two old passenger cars and Canadian National donated one. These cars were then converted into dental cars for the dentists to live and work on.
This car was donated by CN and was converted in 1951 to become a dental car. As part of the conversion the men’s smoking lounge became a kitchen, some beds were removed to provide a dental area, and two bedrooms with washrooms were created to house the dentist and his family. It served as a dental car to serve Northern Ontario from 1951-1977.
As a dental car, Camrose, provided care to school children in Northern Ontario. For an extra fee, adults could also have their teeth examined, cleaned, and cared for. For twelve months of the year a dentist and dental assistant worked on the car. The children and adults entered at one end of the car while the private entrance was at the other end. A second car traveled with the dental car for storage of dental supplies, books and food. The car had three sources of power: train, hydro grid, and portable generator.
Most of the dentists came from Toronto. The Railway Museum has been able to contact many of the dentists, dental assistants, and their families who worked on this dental car. The Railway Museum held a reunion for the dentists several years ago. The contact with the various dentists has provided valuable information and artifacts from the dental car. Pictures, stories, artifacts, and donations have helped in the restoration of the dental car to its former grandeur. For example, former dentists and/or family members have provided the dental equipment for the exhibit.