506 Streetcar Project
celebrates Toronto communities



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Grethe Jensen’s streetcar-inspired paintings will be on display as part of an instructors’ exhibition at Rebellion Gallery March 5.

Did you know that the TTC’s 506 Carlton streetcar route connects 15 distinct neighbourhoods across the city? The goal of the 506 Streetcar Project is to connect these neighbourhoods through events and interactive mapping.

Project organizers invite you to find out:

  • where on Gerrard Street East the Czar’s wife hid out;
  • where in Little Italy to get the best Italian gelato; or
  • where in East Chinatown Jack Layton ate his favourite plump Har Gow dumplings.

According to the 506 Streetcar Project, “an amazing journey awaits you. It’s a multicultural ride that’s inexpensive, safe and rich with intriguing historical trivia. If you wish to buy a TTC day pass for $12.00 you can make several stops along the way. Grab lunch in one of many neighbourhoods, listen to some live music, visit one of many green spaces including Allen’s gardens, or High park Toronto’s largest park, shop at a private gallery or neighbourhood boutique. Hop on now and join our adventure!”

The group says, “Get ready! This ain’t no ‘token’ event. We are kicking off the project with a full month of activities! This first phase of the project is based in the east-end of Toronto but look out west end…we will be coming your way soon.”

Beach Metro News reporter Jon Muldoon explains:

“On Saturday, March 5, art galleries on Gerrard Street East will take part in a self-guided art tour. The Flying Pony (where the idea was born on a cold, snowy day a year ago), Lenswork and Rebellion Gallery will all have streetcar-inspired art on display, while Gerrard Art Space will feature a performance of a Noel Coward play. Rebellion will feature art by its teachers. The tour will also include stops at murals in the area.

Vintage Hunter will also host ‘The 506 Roadshow’ from 3 to 7 p.m., with a free antique appraisal or home décor and furniture ‘up-cycling’ consultation. The most interesting pieces will be featured on the 506 Facebook page.

“Further events are planned for later in March, including a history-themed day on March 12. The Gerrard - Ashdale branch of the Toronto Public Library will mount a historical photo exhibit featuring images of the neighbourhood, and there are plans… for an antique streetcar to loop through the Bazaar. Local history buff Joanne Doucette will be on board sharing fascinating facts from the area’s past.

“The library is also planning a streetcar-inspired writing contest (with - of course - a 506-word limit)…”

Each weekend has a theme and the organizers say they have also planned March-break activities.

Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6:

Art Crawl

Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13:

History

Tuesday, March 15 until Friday, March 18 (March Break):

Kids activities at Gerrard Ashdale Library, 506 excursion for kids and more.

Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27:

Music and Food

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These stylish passengers at Gerrard Street East and Greenwood Avenue wait to board the very first Toronto Civic Railways streetcar to head east along the GERRARD route on December 15, 1912. Photo: City of Toronto Archives.

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