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TTC vintage PCC cars on Queens Quay,
Sundays, May 21 until September 3



Starting this Sunday, May 21, and every Sunday until September 3, TTC passengers can step back in time aboard a vintage Presidents’ Conference Committee or PCC streetcar along the 509 Harbourfront route. You can board the classic burgundy-and-cream streetcar from about noon until 5 p.m. Sundays only. Rides on the PCC are free of fare.

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While walking on Gould Street in the late afternoon of November 27, 2005, Alex Soloviev was lucky enough to catch TTC A15-class PCC #4549 during a training run, heading southbound on Church through the Ryerson campus. This is one of the two cars TTC staff have restored and likely one of the two you’ll see on Queens Quay this summer.

The PCC car will travel between Union Station and Fleet Loop, providing a scenic view along Queens Quay West. It stops at many tourist destinations on Toronto’s waterfront, such as the Ferry Docks, Toronto Music Garden, HTO Park, York Quay Centre, Stage in the Round, The Power Plant and many other attractions.

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George McCormick shot this view of the TTC’s second restored PCC, #4500, on Broadview Avenue south of Dundas Street East, Saturday, March 13, 2016.

Some facts about the PCC cars:

  • The Presidents’ Conference Committee was a group North American transit industry experts that developed specifications for new-era streetcars in 1930.
  • The PCC streetcar era in Toronto began in 1938 when the first PCC rolled into service along the St Clair route.
  • The TTC’s original 140-car order of PCCs (the largest order in North America in 1938) cost $3 million. By 1951, more than 550 “streamliners” were running on most routes in Toronto.
  • By 1957, after acquiring more than 200 second-hand PCCs from various United States cities, the TTC owned 744 PCC cars (745 purchased, but one scrapped in 1947), which was the biggest PCC fleet in the world. The TTC gradually retired the PCCs from service after it opened the Bloor-Danforth Subway in 1966 and started to operate its Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) and Articulated Light Rail Vehicle (ALRV) streetcars — the fleets in service today — in the 1980s.
  • The TTC rebuilt 173 PCC cars in the early 1970s, prolonging the useful life of 25-year-old cars until the manufacturers delivered the CLRV fleet. The TTC retired its last 19 PCC cars from service in 1995.
  • Today, the TTC has two PCC cars it uses for special occasions and charters.
  • Length: 14.2 metres (46.6 feet). Height: 3.1 metres (10.1 feet). Weight: 16,964.4 kilograms (16.7 tons). Seats: 46.

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Inside view of restored PCC #4500. Photo: George McCormick.


From the Transit Toronto archives, read:

  • A history of Toronto’s Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) cars (1938-1995) by James Bow with John F. Bromley and Dave Imrie, here.
  • The pre-War, air-electric PCC cars (Classes A1-A5 and A10), by James Bow, here.
  • The all-electric PCC cars (Classes A-6, A-7 and A-8), by P.C. Kohler, here
  • The post-War, used PCC cars (Classes A-9 to A-14), by P.C. Kohler, here.
  • Red Rocket Renaissance: The A-15 class PCC cars, by P.C. Kohler, here.
  • The Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (the CLRVs), by James Bow, here.
  • The Articulated Light Rail Vehicles (the ALRVs), by James Bow, here.

Service operates Sundays:

  • May 21;
  • May 28;
  • June 4;
  • June 11;
  • June 18;
  • June 25;
  • July 2;
  • July 9;
  • July 16;
  • July 23;
  • July 30;
  • August 6;
  • August 13;
  • August 20;
  • August 27; and
  • September 3.

Also:

  • Canada Day, Saturday, July 1.