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This week in classic cars, we look at the Brooks steamer: likely the last automobile to gently chuff and hiss along Toronto streets, leaving nothing in its wake but a white vapour trail and the splash of water droplets.

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The steamer in question.

Ian Taylor/Ian Taylor

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The history of steam cars in Canada stretches back to Henry Seth Taylor’s pioneering steam-powered carriage created in Quebec in 1867.

Ian Taylor/Ian Taylor

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The initial superheated enthusiasm for steam rapidly cooled as most inventors turned their minds to the potential of electricity and internal fires generated by gasoline.

Ian Taylor/Ian Taylor

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Due to tough Ontario regulations regarding steam-powered devices, the Brooks can no longer be brought to the boil.

Ian Taylor/Ian Taylor

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