Toronto Streetcars The St. Clair Loops

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Toronto Streetcars The St. Clair Loops
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 5, 2020 3:48 PM

See 2nd post below for new posting sized correctly

sorry about that, it's a bear sometimes.

Back in the day the CPR and the CNR would not allow streetcar tracks to cross theirs at all. In Toronto on St. Clair Ave this resulted in the streetcar tracks terminating on each side of the Railroad tracks in loops and patrons would have to walk across the tracks from one loop to another.

Must have been fun in the rain and winter and slushy spring.

Eventually this was solved when the CPR and CNR constructed an overpass over the streetcar tracks and St. Clair streetcar patrons had a through route.

Interesting to see the stand alone bridge before the fill added to connect to the main lines. 

 

St. Clair Avenue West 

St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Caledonia Road. 

MAP 1928

Showing Dovercourt, Bay, St.Clair streetcar and Jane bus routes. 

This map shows how three railway main lines cross St. Clair Avenue West on level crossings. 
CNR and CPR did not allow street railways to cross their tracks for reasons of safety. 
A deadly collision on Queen Street East emphasized this danger. 

In the short distance depict two separate crossings spread apart which required 
streetcar riders to walk between loops until grade separations were finally built. 


Caledonia loop

TTC 2704 starting its trip eastbound. 

Looking west on St.Clair at Prescott Ave. 

Prescott loop. 

Bridge is completed but without landfill for tracks. Nor any streetcar tracks. July 1931

Note track removed curving to left into Prescott Avenue loop closed October 29, 1931 after only being opened on 
November 12, 1922. New CNR St. Clair station is out of sight to far left on east side of track. 
It replaced the original Northern Railway of Canada's Davenport station a short ways
to the south (right) on east side just north of CPR diamond. 

 

CNR St. Clair bridge opened May 14, 1932 
A unique method of construction detailed.

Sorry about the screwup h

 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 5, 2020 4:23 PM

 Back in the day the CPR and the CNR would not allow streetcar tracks to cross theirs at all. In Toronto on St. Clair Ave this resulted in the streetcar tracks terminating on each side of the Railroad tracks in loops and patrons would have to walk across the tracks from one loop to another.

Must have been fun in the rain and winter and slushy spring.

Eventually this was solved when the CPR and CNR constructed an overpass over the streetcar tracks and St. Clair streetcar patrons had a through route.

Interesting to see the stand alone bridge before the fill added to connect to the main lines. 

St. Clair Avenue West 

St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Caledonia Road. 

MAP 1928

Showing Dovercourt, Bay, St.Clair streetcar and Jane bus routes. 

This map shows how three railway main lines cross St. Clair Avenue West on level crossings. 
CNR and CPR did not allow street railways to cross their tracks for reasons of safety. 
A deadly collision on Queen Street East emphasized this danger. 

In the short distance depict two separate crossings spread apart which required 
streetcar riders to walk between loops until grade separations were finally built. 


Caledonia loop

TTC 2704 starting its trip eastbound. 

Looking west on St.Clair at Prescott Ave. 

Prescott loop. 

Bridge is completed but without landfill for tracks. Nor any streetcar tracks. July 1931

Note track removed curving to left into Prescott Avenue loop closed October 29, 1931 after only being opened on 
November 12, 1922. New CNR St. Clair station is out of sight to far left on east side of track. 
It replaced the original Northern Railway of Canada's Davenport station a short ways
to the south (right) on east side just north of CPR diamond. 

 

CNR St. Clair bridge opened May 14, 1932 
A unique method of construction detailed.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 5, 2020 4:47 PM

Miningman
 Back in the day the CPR and the CNR would not allow streetcar tracks to cross theirs at all.

Not surprising.  Back in those days there was usually a bit of hostility between the steam railroads and the electric 'roads, more in some places than others.  Maybe CPR and CNR had their reasons, and good ones too, but sometimes I have to wonder.

Fascinating photos just the same.  Does any of that still exist?

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 5, 2020 6:40 PM

The Streetcar and its tracks are still there and very healthy and the Railroad is still there and healthy too, as is the bridge.

St Clair Ave W

Toronto, ON

https://goo.gl/maps/3UkhZnZv6yAxdHJz7

 You can even see streetcars on the google view. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 5, 2020 9:56 PM

Oh so very cool!  Some things shouldn't change.  Praise be some don't!

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 5:24 AM

Toronto is the one North American city that kept streetcars as streetcars.

Philadelphia and Boston?  Subway downtown, only useful for streetcars.

San Francisco?  Twin Peaks and Sunset Tunnels, only useful for streetcars/

New Orleans:  One line for history and tourism, nostalgia.

But Toronto?   Streetcars as streetcars.

Yae Toronto!

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 9:08 PM

Did Pittsburgh keep some trolleys?

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 6:56 AM

Pittsburgh's trolleys have been converted into "Light Rail", with only a couple of sections of street operation - the long Beechview stretch and the Allentown line that bypasses the Mt. Washington Tunnel are the two biggest ones.

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Posted by NKP guy on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:25 AM

daveklepper
San Francisco?  Twin Peaks and Sunset Tunnels, only useful for streetcars/

   I'm afraid I don't get your point regarding San Francisco, which has the finest streetcar operation in the streets that I know of.  Toronto's new streetcars, while good-looking, are based on the looks of a PCC; San Francisco operates authentic PCC cars.

   What other city would have the imagination and self-confidence to paint its streetcars in a variety of colors?  This former Clevelander nearly swoons when I see a PCC in Cleveland colors  cruising down Market Street or the Embarcadero.  Kinda makes a tourist feel welcome.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 10:12 AM

NKP guy
I see a PCC in Cleveland colors

They've got one painted in Public Service Coordinated Transport ( of New Jersey) colors as well!  Which as a New Jersey exile I think is cool as hell, but in this day and age I wonder if any folks from NJ visiting San Francisco even know what they're looking at when it rolls past?

That's OK, I'd know what I was looking at!

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 10:27 AM

What's the big deal about the other colors?  The Green Hornet car (CTA) is the real eye-opener.  FYI, the Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf has rooms that overlook the turnaround on the F Line.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 10:59 AM

NKP:   1.  Streetcars survived in SF only because of the two tunnels, and the J Church was then added because of vehement protests of riders concerning bus substitution. 2.   Then came BART and the Muni Metro, much later, and  like other cities, SF has had a wonderful rail revival, so now you are rught, during non-epidemic times, it is a wonderful streetcar mecca.   3.  I belong to the Market Street Railway Association and have a great love for SF.

4.  In the classic streetcar days, SF had four streetcar tracks on Market Street.

Now there are six.  But four are underground, one pair wide-gauge.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 11:07 AM

Pittsburgh also has had a revival, but what remained  was due only to the Mt. Wshington Tunnel, and extensive private RoW south of there.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 10, 2020 2:33 AM

Toronto:  About 3/5ths of the WWII network remains intact, and more recently a few relatively minor additions with major ones planned and in construction.

SF:  Reduction from about 36 WWII lines to only five, less than 10% the mileage, now seven or eight depending on how you count, one more under construction.  Two lines heritage, combination of restoration and new. Cable not counted.

New Orleans, Only two left during WWII. The important one, Canal St., bus around 1960.  Restored with branch and other new lines, now totalling four or five lines.

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Posted by ghCBNS on Thursday, September 10, 2020 8:42 AM

Toronto: a great city for the Streetcar fan especially on downtown streets......north-south cars meeting east-west cars especially in rush-hour traffic when they run so frequent you might see cars one behind the other.

And some intersections are 'Grand Unions' (turns can be made in all directions)

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 10, 2020 11:05 AM

deleted 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 10, 2020 11:05 AM

Those Toronto streetcars.  I'm sure they're comfortable and untra-modern, but am I the only one who thinks they look a bit weird?  

Almost like they're trying to be the North Shore Electroliner but can't quite pull it off.

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Posted by NKP guy on Thursday, September 10, 2020 3:03 PM

   I have to agree with both Flintlock and ghCBNS:  Those Toronto streetcars pictured do look a bit weird.  I can't explain it exactly, but they don't look like streetcars so much as light rail vehicles. 

   Grand Union Junctions are, to a trolley fan, like a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth is to a baseball enthusiast: it's thrill to see. Is it all the wires?  All the tracks? 

   As with Grand Unions, rarity gives value in any hobby or interest.  Certainly one has to give great credit to Toronto for its extensive streetcar system.  Riding its PCC cars in the 1960's & 1970's was a wonderful experience and treasured memory.

   May I tell an old Canadian joke from the 1940's?  "Did you know 'Toronto' is an Indian word for 'Closed on Sundays'?"   (I think even the newspaper wasn't published on Sunday in those long-ago days.)

   Though not quite a Grand Union, my favorite Toronto location c.1966 was Roncesvalles & Queen/King in Sunnyside.  Beautifully painted and maintained PCC cars everywhere!

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 10, 2020 3:07 PM

I may also add that the 2/5ths of the WWII Toronto streetcar network that went bus did so because most riders on those lines went to the newly-opened subway lines.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, September 10, 2020 4:33 PM

Yes exactly, the Young line being a prime example of that. 

Also folks may think they look like light rail but they are streetcars. They roll like streetcars, ding ding like streetcars and in every sense act like streetcars, just bigger and more glass. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, September 10, 2020 9:08 PM

Flintlock76
Those Toronto streetcars.  I'm sure they're comfortable and untra-modern, but am I the only one who thinks they look a bit weird?  

I think the low door/floor and articulation give modern streetcars heir slug-like look.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 11, 2020 2:48 AM

From Mike:

 

Posted by NKP guy on Thursday, September 10, 2020 3:03 PM

  "Did you know 'Toronto' is an Indian word for 'Closed on Sundays'?"   

 

 
 

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, September 11, 2020 4:32 AM

The same is largely true of Jerusalem's Light Rail, although only emergency vehicles are supposed to share the 90% paved RoW.  In addition to the digitally-duplicated classic ding-ding, there is also a whah-whah horn for use when necessary, that  sound exactly like I remember the classic pre-WWII IRT subway-car horns sounding.

All NYCity and Westchester streetcars had the ding-ding, an underfloor bell operated by a foot stud.  But the Broadway Huffliners, the double-end Peter Witts with PCC-style lighting, 551-625, had a bus-type beep-beep horn in addition.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 10:11 AM

Please visit www.streetcar.org for some courrently posted applicable San Francisco history for comparison with Toronto.  Thanks.

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