"Get on the bus, the Spadina bus"...
returning June 17 -- until November



Update — Wednesday, July 6, 8:01 p.m.: Starting Monday, July 9, the TTC is closing the entire intersection of Spadina Avenue and Queen Street West to replace the rails, curves and switches, overhead wiring and passenger platforms. It’s detouring streetcars operating along the 301 Queen overnight, 501 Queen routes and buses operating along the 510 Spadina route. It expects to resume regular bus and streetcar service through the intersection Monday, July 23.


Update — Sunday, June 17, 9:12 p.m.: Transit Toronto readers report that buses were, indeed, operating along Spadina Avenue today at around 5 p.m.


Update — Saturday, June 16, 9:04 a.m.: Yesterday, Friday, June 15, the TTC issued a news release announcing that the bus service actually starts Monday, June 18. Even though other parts of the TTC website still announce the June 17 start date, we’re updating this post to reflect Monday as the start date for bus service.


Well, I start to cuss on the Wellesley bus
And you can’t go far on the College Street car
You know the Yonge Street train is a real pain
And the LRT — that’s not for me
Well, you can’t have fun on the York U. run
And the Ossington trolley is just a big folly
Well, I don’t give a damn ‘bout the Bathurst tram
So I’ll make a fuss about Spadina Bus

The Shuffle Demons





If you remember Spadina Bus, the Shuffle Demons’ joyful jazz celebration of Toronto’s most eclectic avenue and the equally eclectic bus that served it in 1986, you’re in for a treat… or, well, maybe not.

Starting next Sunday, June 17, the TTC is replacing all streetcar service along Spadina and Lower Spadina Avenues with a new version of the Spadina bus.

Buses operate along the 510 Spadina route between Spadina Station and Queens Quay while the TTC and City of Toronto work on two separate projects affecting the Spadina streetcar right-of-way.

Starting Monday June 18, the TTC starts modifying the passenger platform islands to meet accessibility standards for the TTC’s new low-floor streetcars. (Some of the new cars start arriving in Toronto as early as next year.) They’ll be upgrading the length and ramp for each platform, adjusting the height, extending some railings and reinforcing and modifying some shelters. They may also remove stop poles, sections of the shelter and some trees to ensure barrier-free access from the street to the platforms and from the platforms onto the new cars.

This project affects 14 of the 25 platform islands on Spadina Avenue, including the platforms at Harbord, College and Nassau Streets, Dundas Street West, Sullivan Street and King Street West and in the Queens Quay / Spadina loop. The TTC will modify the other 11 platforms along the line during a separate project. It will also remove 24 trees, but is replacing each tree with three new ones.

The TTC is also replacing the streetcar rails in the tunnel leading to Spadina Station and in the Spadina Station loop.

Starting Sunday, buses serve passengers from stops beside the curb, instead of from the platform stops in the centre of the roadway. Most buses operate between Spadina Station and Queens Quay / Spadina loop, but others also short-turn at King Street West, looping along Adelaide Street West, Charlotte Street and King West before returning northward toward Spadina Station. The buses start and end their trips in the bus terminal at Spadina Station — sharing the terminal with buses operating along the 127 Davenport route — and not the regular streetcar terminal.

While the contractors carry out the majority of their work on the streetcar right-of-way, sometimes they’ll be working at the back of the transit shelters. On those occasions, they may be restricting vehicular traffic — including the buses — to just one lane. They’ll also use sections of the right-of-way to create safe work zones and to store material and equipment.

Work on the platform work will typically take place Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. However, the TTC track work in the tunnel could extend into later evenings, overnight or during weekends. The TTC expects to finish both projects and resume regular service Sunday, November 18.

In addition to replacing streetcars with buses along the 510 Spadina route, the TTC is also increasing service between Union Station and Lower Spadina Avenue along the 509 Harbourfront route. Streetcars serving the 509 route operate every 2 to 4 minutes between Union Station and Lower Spadina Avenue and every 5 to 8 minutes between Union Station and Exhibition Place.

(However, Harbourfront passengers should also look forward to a similar change to their commute in late July, when the City and Waterfront Toronto start a project to redesign Queens Quay West. Buses will then also replace the 509 cars until spring 2013.)

To help relieve the pressure on the buses serving Spadina Avenue, the TTC’s also increasing service along a parallel and nearby streetcar route, 511 Bathurst.

Will we enjoy this Spadina bus as much as the Shuffle Demons did, back in 1986? Well, we’ll just have to see. Hopefully we’ll have as much, if not more, fun as those riding ‘the York U run’, seeing as that’s another service where TTC construction dominates!


From the Transit Toronto Archives, read:

  • a history of the 77 Spadina bus route (1948 to 1997), by Jeffrey Kay, with information from Pete Coulman, here.
  • a history of the 510 Spadina streetcar route (1997 - ) by James Bow, here.
  • a history of the 604 and 509 Harbourfront streetcar routes by James Bow, here.
  • an account of the opening ceremonies for the 604 Harbourfront streetcar line in 1990, by James Bow, here.
  • an account of the opening ceremonies for the 509 Harbourfront streetcar line in 2000, by James Bow, here.

and…

  • a history of the 506 Carlton (the College Street car”) route, by James Bow, here.
  • a history of the 511 Bathurst streetcar (“the Bathurst tram”) route, by James Bow, here.
  • a history of the 63 Ossington route (the “Ossington trolley”: trolley buses, 1947 - 1992, conventional buses, 1992 - ), by Jeffrey Kay and James Bow, here
  • a history of the Yonge subway line (“the Yonge Street train”), by James Bow, here.

511 Bathurst

More passengers usually travel to and from the waterfront and Exhibition Place during the summer. This year, however, the TTC is also replacing streetcar service along the 510 Spadina route with buses, placing more demand than usual along this parallel route.

The TTC’s operating more streetcars along the route to increase the frequency of service seven days a week.

Starting Sunday, June 17, streetcars drop off or pick up passengers at stops along the route every 6 minutes, instead of every 8 minutes, Sunday-and-holiday mornings. They serve stops along the route every 5 minutes, instead of every 6 minutes 15 seconds Sunday-and-holiday afternoons. They serve stops every 5 minutes 15 seconds, instead of every 8 minutes, Sunday-and-holiday evenings.

Starting Monday, June 18, the cars serve stops every 3 minutes 40 seconds Mondays to Fridays before 7 p.m. (They currently serve stops every 4½ minutes during morning rush hours, every 5 minutes from about 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and every 4 minutes 40 seconds during afternoon rush hours.)

They serve stops every 4 minutes 45 seconds, instead of every 7½ minutes, Mondays to Fridays from about 7 until 10 p.m. They serve each stop every 5 minutes 15 seconds, instead of every 8 minutes after 10 p.m.

Starting Saturday, June 23, streetcars serve stops every 5 minutes 15 seconds, instead of every 6 minutes, Saturdays before 8 a.m. They serve the stops every 4 minutes 15 seconds, instead of every 6 minutes 15 seconds, Saturdays from about 8 a.m. until noon. They serve the stops every 4 minutes 15 seconds, instead of every 5 minutes 40 seconds afternoons. They serve the stops every 5 minutes, instead of every 7 minutes, from about 7 until 10 p.m. They serve the stops every 5 minutes, instead of every 8 minutes, after 10 p.m.

509 Harbourfront

More passengers usually travel to and from the Toronto Island ferries, Harbourfront and Exhibition Place during the summer. This year, however, the TTC is also replacing streetcar service along the 510 Spadina route with buses, placing more demand than usual along the route, as the buses do not operate along Queens Quay West.

The TTC’s operating more streetcars along the route to increase the frequency of service between the Spadina / Queens Quay Loop and Union Station seven days a week. It’s also increasing the frequency of service along the entire route between Exhibition Place and Union Station every evening after 10 p.m., Sunday-and-holiday afternoons and Saturday evenings.

East of Lower Spadina Avenue, starting Sunday, June 17, streetcars drop off or pick up passengers at stops every 3½ minutes, instead of every 4 minutes 25 seconds, Sundays and holidays from about 9 a.m. until noon. They serve the stops every 2 minutes 40 seconds, instead of every 3 minutes 42 seconds, from about noon until 7 p.m. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 45 seconds, instead of every 4 minutes 5 seconds, from about 7 until 10 p.m. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 52 seconds, instead of every 4 minutes 56 seconds after 10 p.m.

Starting Monday, June 18, the cars serve stops east of Spadina every 3 minutes, instead of every 3 minutes 17 seconds, Mondays to Fridays during morning rush hours. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 50 seconds, instead of every 4 minutes 17 seconds, from about 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. They serve the stops every 2 minutes 40 seconds, instead of every three minutes 26 seconds, during afternoon rush hours. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 45 seconds, instead of every 4 minutes 5 seconds, from about 7 until 10 p.m. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 52 seconds, instead of every 5 minutes 44 seconds after 10 p.m.

Starting Saturday, June 23, the cars serve stops east of Spadina every 4 minutes, instead of every 4 minutes 28 seconds, from about 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays. They serve the stops every 2 minutes 40 seconds, instead of every 3 minutes 4 seconds, from about noon until 7 p.m. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 45 seconds, instead of every 3 minutes 33 seconds, Saturdays from about 7 until 10 p.m. They serve the stops every 3 minutes 52 seconds, instead of every 4 minutes 56 seconds, after 10 p.m.

West of Lower Spadina Avenue, starting Sunday, June 17, the cars drop off or pick up passengers at stops every every 7 minutes, instead of every 12 minutes Sundays and holidays before noon. They serve the stops every 5 minutes 20 seconds, instead of every 6 minutes 15 seconds, Sundays and holidays from about noon until 7 p.m. They continue to serve the stops every 7½ minutes from about 7 until 10 p.m. and every 7½ minutes, instead of every 8½ minutes, after 10 p.m.

Starting Monday, June 18, the cars serve stops every 7½ minutes, instead of every 11 minutes, after 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. For the rest of the day, Mondays to Fridays, the TTC’s maintaining its current service levels west of Spadina — every 6 minutes during morning rush hours, every 7 minutes 40 seconds from about 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., every 5 minutes 20 seconds during afternoon rush hours and every 7½ minutes from about 7 until 10 p.m.

Starting Saturday, June 23, the cars serve stops west of Spadina every 8 minutes, instead of every 8 minutes 20 seconds, before noon Saturdays. They serve the stops every 5 minutes 20 seconds, instead of every 6 minutes 15 seconds, Saturdays, from about noon until 7 p.m. They serve the stops every 7½ minutes, instead of every 8½ minutes, after 10 p.m. For the rest of the day Saturdays, the TTC’s maintaining its current service levels — every 10 minutes before 9 a.m. and every 7½ minutes from about 7 until 10 p.m.

510 Spadina

Starting Monday, June 18, the TTC replaces streetcars with buses along the route between Spadina Station and the Spadina / Queens Quay Loop.

Since buses carry fewer passengers than streetcars, the TTC is operating them more frequently than the streetcars. It’s not operating the buses along Queens Quay West to and from Union Station. Instead, it’s increasing service along the 509 Harbourfront route.

North of King Street West, starting Sunday, June 17, the buses drop off or pick up passengers at each stop every 20 minutes from 5 until 6 a.m. Sundays and holidays, every 11 minutes from 6 until 9 a.m., every 2 minutes 15 seconds from 9 until 10:30 a.m. and every 2 minutes from 10:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. They serve the stops every 4 minutes from 6:30 until 9 p.m., every 5½ minutes from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. and every 12 minutes from about 1 until 2:30 a.m.

Starting Monday, June 18, the buses serve stops north of King every 12 minutes from 5 until 6:15 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, every 5 minutes from 6:15 until 7:30 a.m. and every minute and 53 seconds during the morning rush hours. They serve the stops every 2 minutes from about 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., every 1½ minutes during afternoon rush hours and every 2 minutes from about 7:30 until 9 p.m. They serve each stop every 4 minutes from about 9 until 10:30 p.m., every 5 minutes 20 seconds from about 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. and every 12 minutes from about 1 until 2:30 a.m.

Starting Saturday, June 23, the buses serve stops north of King every 12 minutes from about 5 until 6 a.m. Saturdays, every 7 minutes from about 6 until 7 a.m. and every 5 minutes 20 seconds from about 7 until 9 a.m. They serve the stops every 2 minutes 15 seconds from about 9 until 11 a.m., every minute 53 seconds from about 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and every 3 minutes 45 seconds from about 6:30 until 9 p.m. They serve the stops every 5 minutes from about 9 until 10:30 p.m., every 5 minutes 20 seconds from about 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. and every 12 minutes from about 1 until 2:30 a.m.

South of King Street West, starting Sunday, June 17, the buses drop off or pick up passengers at each stop every 20 minutes from 5 until 6 a.m. Sundays and holidays, every 11 minutes from 6 until 9 a.m., every 4½ minutes from 9 until 10:30 a.m. and every 4 minutes from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. They serve the stops every 5½ minutes from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. and every 12 minutes from about 1 until 2:30 a.m.

Starting Monday, June 18, the buses serve stops south of King every 12 minutes from 5 until 6:15 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, every 5 minutes from 6:15 until 7:30 a.m. and every 3 minutes and 45 seconds during the morning rush hours. They serve the stops every 4 minutes from about 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., every 3 minutes during afternoon rush hours and every 4 minutes from about 7:30 until 10:30 p.m. They serve each stop every 5 minutes 20 seconds from about 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. and every 12 minutes from about 1 until 2:30 a.m.

Starting Saturday, June 23, the buses serve stops south of King every 12 minutes from about 5 until 6 a.m. Saturdays, every 7 minutes from about 6 until 7 a.m. and every 5 minutes 20 seconds from about 7 until 9 a.m. They serve the stops every 4½ minutes from about 9 until 11 a.m., every 3 minutes 45 seconds from about 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. They serve the stops every 5 minutes from about 9 until 10:30 p.m., every 5 minutes 20 seconds from about 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. and every 12 minutes from about 1 until 2:30 a.m.