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Past, present, future TTC streetcars
a highlight of Beaches parade, April 20



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On September 25, 2013, railfan Geoff Bannister from West Somerset, UK, paid a visit to Toronto and stopped by Roncesvalles carhouse. There, he saw TTC LRV #4401 in one of the yard tracks, undergoing daytime testing. Granted permission to photograph the car, he kindly donated this shot to Transit Toronto.

One of the TTC’s new low-floor streetcars will make its first public appearance during the Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade, which takes place this Sunday, April 20, starting at 2 p.m.

For the first time, four generations of TTC streetcars — including some of the TTC’s most popular streetcars from the past and present — will share the tracks for the annual event. The cavalcade of cars along Queen Street East between Neville Park and Woodbine Loop (at Kingston Road) is a regular highlight of the event.

Toronto’s new streetcar joins the the Peter Witt streetcar that served the citizens of Toronto from 1921 until 1963 and the PCC streetcar that was the backbone of the TTC’s streetcar fleet from 1938 until 1995. The TTC’s current streetcar, the CLRV (Canadian Light Rail Vehicle), will form the fourth member of the quartet of streetcars in the parade.

The Peter Witt served the citizens of Toronto from 1921 until 1963. At one time, Toronto owned the largest fleet of PCCs in the world — 745 cars. CLRVs have been operating along Toronto streets since 1977. Their longer, “bendy” cousins, the ALRVs (articulated light rail vehicles) have been carrying Torontonians around town since 1983.

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Air-electric PCC 4088 leaves Neville Park Loop. Photo donated by Curt Frey.

Toronto’s new streetcar starts regular service Sunday, August 31 along the 510 Spadina route. Members of the public will have their first chance to board the new streetcar during Doors Open Toronto Saturday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the TTC’s Russell Division, (“Connaught Barns”), 1433 Queen Street East between Coxwell and Greenwood Avenues.

During the parade, streetcars in regular service along the 501 Queen route will turn back at Kingston Road starting at 1 p.m. Buses operating along the 64 Main and 92 Woodbine South routes will also divert from their regular routes during the parade.

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Small Peter Witt car #2736 operates on Queen Street westbound (but not in the Beach!) in the early 1960s. Note the PCCs behind it. Photo by Peter Lambert, donated by Curt Frey.


From the Transit Toronto archives, read:

  • a history of the Peter Witt cars in Toronto by James Bow, here.
  • a history of the Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) cars in Toronto by James Bow with information from John F. Bromley and Dave Imrie, here.
  • a history of the Canadian All-Electric PCC cars by P.C. Kohler, here.
  • a history of Toronto’s post-war used PCC fleet by P.C. Kohler, here.
  • “Red Rocket Renaissance: the A-15 PCC cars” by P.C. Kohler, here.
  • a history of the Canadian Light Rail Vehicles by James Bow, here.
  • a history of the Articulated Light Rail Vehicles by James Bow, here.
  • a history of the light rail vehicles by James Bow, here.

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CLRV 4021 faces eastbound at King and Yonge. This August 1999 photo is by Rob Hutch.

  • the Peter Witt photo gallery, here.
  • the Air-Electric PCC photo gallery, here.
  • the Pre-1970s All-Electric PCC photo gallery, here.
  • the Post-1970s All-Electric PCC photo gallery, here.
  • the CLRV photo gallery, here.
  • the ALRV photo gallery, here.

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The TTC has been conducting on-street testing of its new streetcar fleet since the early hours of March 14, 2013, when the first test vehicle ran from TTC’s Bathurst Street facility (Hillcrest) to Bathurst Station and back. Photo: TTC.