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The Queen Street Diversions (Spring-Summer 2000)

Queen Car on Richmond

Text by James Bow, pictures by Rob Hutch, except where noted.

Starting late Spring, in the year 2000, the TTC and the City of Toronto embarked on a long awaited reconstruction of Queen Street, both road and streetcar tracks. This forced streetcars off of Queen Street and onto parallel roads, including Richmond and King. This page features pictures of streetcars running along a long underused portion of track on Richmond.

The Queen reconstruction occurred in three stages: the section between Yonge and Bay, another section between University and Spadina, and then a final section between Spadina and Shaw Streets. Initially, westbound 501 streetcars diverted via Church, Richmond and York, while eastbound streetcars diverted along Spadina, King and Church. When stage two commenced, streetcars diverted both ways along Spadina, King and Church. In stage three, the streetcars diverted via Spadina, King and Shaw. The 502 Downtowner streetcar was cut back to loop via Church, Richmond and Victoria initially, but was then extended to loop via Church, Richmond and York.

Except to make use of the automatic switches at Spadina and Adelaide and at Charlotte and King, the Queen Streetcars stayed off Adelaide Street. This track could not be brought up to standard in time for construction.

501 at Richmond and York

Here's a shot of ALRV 4205 in Queen service about to turn from Richmond to York.

501 at Richmond and York

Here, we see a westbound 501 Queen Car turning from Richmond onto York, early in the diversion days.

501 at York and Queen

With Osgoode Hall in the background, a westbound ALRV prepares to make the turn from York onto Queen. The diversion gave the bends of the ALRV quite a workout.

502 at Richmond and Bay

CLRV 4003 runs west on Richmond, past Bay Street. The trackwork on Queen between Bay and Yonge is complete at this point, so while Queen cars now divert both ways along Church, King and Spadina, the 502 car loops via Richmond, and York. At stage three, the Downtowner streetcars returned to McCaul Loop.

502 at Richmond and York

Here we see CLRV 4133 making the turn from Richmond onto York Street.

Queen car on King

For most of the trackwork construction period, eastbound Queen cars diverted via Spadina, King and Church. Unfortunately, they were unable to make use of the trackage on Adelaide. Here, we see ALRV 4225 on King between Spadina and John

Queen Car at University and King

When trackwork reached its second stage, westbound Queen cars diverted via Church, King and Spadina. Here we see a Queen ALRV operating through the canyon of financial towers as it approaches University Avenue.

Turning from King onto Spadina

A Queen ALRV turns from King Street onto Spadina Avenue.

Turning from Spadina onto Queen

ALRV 4215 returns to Queen Street at Spadina after its diversion.

Eastbound Queen Car on King at Night

The Queen diversions meant the (brief) return of night cars to King Street, as 301 service was also affected. Here, ALRV 4230 heads east through the Financial District in the late evening.

Broadview and Dundas

From August 11 through to the 14th, repair work took place on the bridge over the Don River, divering King cars via Parliament and Dundas to Broadview and diverting all Queen cars via Broadview, Dundas and Parliament. Here, looking south on Broadview from Dundas finds a long queue of 501, 502 and 503 cars.

Parliament and Dundas

Here, ALRV 4217 turns from Dundas onto Parliament.

Parliament and Queen

Here, Queen ALRVs turn at the intersection of Parliament and Queen.

King West

Finally, as the Queen trackwork drew to a close, the TTC crews concentrated on the intersection of Shaw and Queen, forcing Queen cars to divert from Roncesvalles to Spadina via King. Here we see an ALRV operating through Parkdale.

The extensive rebuilding of the Queen streetcar tracks and roadway have been a burden for commuters, local shop owners and area residents, but it has been a long time in coming. If nothing else, the work reaffirms the city's commitment to streetcars on one of its premiere streets. Riders should reap the benefits of brand new track sometime this fall and for years to come.

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