TTC passengers, motorists and residents living in the Riverdale and Leslieville neighbourhoods of Toronto experienced major transit chaos yesterday, Monday, August 13, when overhead streetcar wires came down at the intersection of Gerrard Street East and Carlaw Avenue.
Reader Alan Fox kindly sent us this video of the TTC crews at work re-attaching the wires and making sure power was flowing to the streetcars.
Lack of power immediately affected streetcars operating along the 506 Carlton and 501 Queen lines, with many of them frozen in place along the line between Coxwell and Broadview Avenues. Eventually TTC supervisors detoured the cars to and from Broadview Station, while shuttle buses served passengers between Main Street Station and Broadview Avenue.
Since Toronto Police Service officers blocked the entire intersection of Carlaw and Gerrard, the downed wires affected bus service, too. Southbound buses operating along the 72 Pape swung around the site along Simpson Avenue, Howland Road, Gerrard Street East, Logan Avenue and Dundas Street East. Due to one-way streets, northbound buses had a much less complicated detour, using Dundas, Logan and Riverdale Avenue to pass around the downed wires. The shuttle buses replacing the streetcars detoured around the intersection along Jones Avenue, Dundas East and Logan.
Meanwhile, at about the same time, a sinkhole appeared at the nearby intersection of Jones and Boultbee Avenues, requiring the TTC to also detour buses operating along the 83 Jones route. These buses also got caught up in the chaos at Carlaw and Gerrard. One southbound passenger aboard an 83 Jones bus tweeted about a mystery tour as the bus travelled along Strathcona Avenue, Pape Avenue, Riverdale Avenue, Carlaw Avenue, Simpson Avenue, Howland Road, Gerrard Street East, Logan Avenue and Dundas Street East before it could return to its regular route along Jones. Whew!