Today, Waterways is a subdivision on the southern side of Fort McMurray. In 1921, the railroad was built to the community of Draper six kilometers south of the present site of Waterways (FMHS website 2008). The community of Waterways started at the end of the railroad track on the bank of the Clearwater River (Huberman 2001). Waterways became the hub of commercial activity in the early 1920’s with the railroad, sawmill, a wooden box plant, salt mine, shipping docks, paving plant, warehouses, and a shipyard (Huberman 2001). Thomas Draper started the operation of the McMurray Asphaltum & Oil Company near Waterways on the banks of the Clearwater River. (FMHS website 2008).
The Waterways section of the railroad was officially closed in 1989 by Canadian National Railway (EUB website 2000).