TTC LRV 4403 heads northbound on Spadina, approaching Front Street, on the afternoon of September 17, 2014. Photo by James Bow.
Four generations of streetcars — including some of the TTC’s most popular streetcars from the past and present — will share the tracks for the annual Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade, this Sunday, March 27, starting at 2 p.m.
The cavalcade of cars along Queen Street East between Neville Park Loop and Woodbine Loop (at Kingston Road) is a regular highlight of the event.
George McCormick snapped this view of restored TTC PCC #4500 on Broadview Avenue, Saturday, March 13, 2016. This is the streetcar that will likely appear in the parade.
Toronto’s latest streetcar, the Bombardier Flexity 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 main streetcar, the CLRV (Canadian Light Rail Vehicle), will form the fourth member of the quartet of streetcars in the parade.
- The Peter Witts were the first streetcars that the TTC bought after the City of Toronto formed the Toronto Transportation Commission in 1921.
- At one time, Toronto owned the largest fleet of PCCs in the world — 745 cars.
- CLRVs have been operating along Toronto streets since 1979. Their longer, “bendy” cousins, the ALRVs (articulated light rail vehicles) have been carrying Torontonians around town since 1988.
- The TTC’s first Flexity car started serving passengers Sunday, August 31, 2014.
Air-electric PCC 4088 leaves Neville Park Loop. Photo donated by Curt Frey.
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.
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 Toronto Flexity light rail vehicles by James Bow, here.
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.
- images of Flexity cars here.
TTC Flexity LRV #4414 heads southbound on 510 SPADINA service, approaching College Street on Thursday, January 14, 2016. Photo by James Bow.