Read these daily “on schedule” posts to find news and other information that affects your daily commute. You’ll learn about public meetings, special events and construction projects that affect transit services today.
The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa currently holds in its collection of artifacts, but does not display, several historic transit vehicles from Toronto. (The museum is closed to the public — for now.)
Trevor Parkins - Sciberras — who recently found fame as a builder of Lego replicas of TTC streetcars and trains — has organized an on-line petition as the first step in returning these vehicles to Toronto. If the petition gathers enough support, Trevor hopes to set up a crowdfunding campaign to bring them home — perhaps as part of a transit museum or for the TTC to use for special events and tours.
The vehicular artifacts include:
- an early horse-drawn ominbus that carried passengers between Toronto and its remote suburb of Yorkville from 1849 until 1861;
- one of the first Toronto Street Railway horse-drawn cars from 1861;
- a replica of TSR horse-drawn streetcar / sleigh — for winter transit trips — from 1861;
- a replica of a TSR horse-drawn omnibus serving Toronto-to-Richmond-Hill passengers in 1880;
- a Toronto Railway Company streetcar from 1892;
- a Toronto Transportation Commission double-decker bus from 1921; and
- a TTC single-decker bus from 1922.
You can learn more about these vehicles here.
You can ‘sign’ the on-line petition here.
In the news, read:
A recent post about Trevor Parkins - Sciberras’ efforts to return heritage Toronto transit vehicles from Ottawa back home to Toronto, reminded us to again let readers know where you can learn more about Toronto’s transit history (besides Transit Toronto, of course!)
The TTC proposed developing its own transit museum in 2010. However, funding cuts that saw the TTC significantly reduce service along many routes also spelled the end to that proposal.
Meanwhile, in a rural area of Milton — near the village of Rockwood, between Guelph and Acton — the Halton County Radial Railway Museum was already operating and continues to thrive.
The HCRR is a full-size operating electric railway and museum, featuring historic electric railcars and two kilometers of scenic track. The Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA), a non-profit, educational organization owns and operates the HCRR, Ontario’s first and largest electric railway museum.
The museum displays and operates a variety of historic streetcars, radial cars and work cars and maintains a collection of photographs, memorabilia and archival materials. The oldest rail car in the collection dates from the late 1800s. The site operates some of its vehicles along tracks that originally carried the radial cars — basically, streetcars — of the Toronto Suburban Railway from Guelph to Keele and Dundas Streets in Toronto.
- Halton County Radial Railway Museum, 1329 Guelph Line, Milton, Mondays to Fridays (July & August only) from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (First Saturday in May until last Sunday in October), from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Volunteers from the Toronto Railway Historical Association operate the museum, which helps preserve the physical legacy, history and experience of rail transportation in Toronto and Ontario. The museum encompasses Roundhouse Park with Stall 17 as the temporary home of the gift shop, railway simulator and small artifact display.
Transit Toronto contributor Richard White volunteers at the museum.
- Toronto Railway Museum, 255 Bremner Boulevard, Unit 15. Wednesdays to Sundays and holidays, noon until 5 p.m.
And in the “see’em-while-you-can” category, check out two temporary exhibitions on local transit and transportation history.
At the City of Toronto Archives, curator Mark Osbaldeston’s “No Little Plans” examines significant municipal projects that were either never realized, or else built to one of a number of competing designs.
The exhibit especially documents road and transit proposals. It examines rejected subway and light rail plans to confirm the historic precedent for Toronto’s tendency to introduce ambitious transportation strategies, only to abandon them later.
A future Transit Toronto post will detail more about this exhibition.
- City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road, Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Exhibition continues until August.
The City’s Market Gallery, the exhibition, “Tunnel Vision: The Story of Toronto’s Subway”, highlights the building of Toronto’s subway system with photographs, maps and artifacts and explores the complexity and massive scale of Toronto’s subway’s operation.
The Toronto Transportation Society, including curators Adam Zhelka and Robert Lubinski, partnered with the gallery to present the exhibition.
Robert Lubinski is also a contributor to Transit Toronto.
- Market Gallery, 95 Front Street East, Second Floor (South St. Lawrence Market), Tuesdays to Fridays, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Exhibition continues until June 11.
In the news, read:
- BlogTO post, “The Halton County Radial Railway Museum”, here.
- BlogTO post, “Where to find the lost relics of the TTC, here.
- BlogTO post, “A brief history of Toronto’s first subway cars”, here.
- BlogTO post, “The Toronto Railway Heritage Centre”, here.
- Globe and Mail article, “TTC nears deal for transit museum, new headquarters”, here.
- Torontoist post, “Old Streetcars Don’t Die, They Just Retire to a Forest”, here.
- Torontoist post, “Tunnel Vision: A History of Toronto’s Subway”, here.
- Torontoist post, “The Daily Photoist: Inside of Number 1326”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Wheels turning at Toronto Transit Museum”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Councillors endorse transit museum”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “When Toronto bubbled with pride over its subway”, here.
- Toronto Sun column, “The Way We Were: Toronto’s transit history on display at museum”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Explore the History of Transit at Two Toronto Exhibitions”, here.
- YorkRegion.com article, “Wooden CN Rail caboose once a fixture in Woodbridge finds a new home in Toronto’s Roundhouse Park”, here.
From the Transit Toronto archives, read:
- “Three Days in the Life of the Halton County Radial Railway Museum” (1957, 1999, 2014) by James Bow, here.
- “The Toronto Railway Historical Museum” (2010) by Richard White, here.
- “Save the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre” (2012) by Richard White, here.
- “A transit museum for Toronto?” (2010) by Robert Mackenzie, here.
- “Market Gallery’s ‘Tunnel Vision’ exhibition highlights Toronto’s subway story” by Robert Mackenzie, here.
Starting 9 a.m. today, Tuesday, May 24, TTC track crews are repairing the tracks east of Kipling Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets. To accommodate the work, the TTC will also temporarily change service along the 301 Queen overnight and 501 Queen routes.
Today, from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., a crew is breaking and removing concrete in the track area to expose the piece of rail to replace. They’ll continue from 8 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25 and finish removing concrete by late afternoon. Starting at 8 p.m. tomorrow, they’ll install and weld new rail and then place concrete until 5 a.m. Thursday, May 26.
The work restricts traffic to just one lane in each direction through the work zone.
Crews will clear the work zone by 5 a.m. Friday, May 27, after the new concrete has cured adequately for road traffic.
Shuttle buses replace streetcars on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Long Branch and Humber Loops from 8 p.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. Thursday.
- BlogTO post, “Bombardier to ramp up production of TTC streetcars”, here.
- BlogTO post, “TTC is bringing back old streetcars this summer”, here.
- Business News Network report, “Bombardier to shift production to clear TTC streetcar backlog”, here.
- Canadian Press article (from the CTV News Toronto website), “Bombardier says they are ‘doing everything necessary’ to speed up delivery of streetcars”, here.
- CBC News Toronto report, “Smoking TTC train knocked out power to subway communications”, here.
- CBC News Thunder Bay report, “Bombardier to lay off 60 employees in Thunder Bay”, here.
- CityNews Toronto report, “Toronto commuters still rely primarily on cars to get to work, data shows”, here.
- CP24 report, “TTC says Thursday’s partial shutdown on line 2 was necessar for safety”, here.
- CTV News Toronto report, “Bombardier says they are ‘doing everything necessary’ to speed up delivery of streetcars”, here.
- Globe and Mail article, “Bombardier to shift production to hasten deliver of TTC streetcars”, here.
- insauga.com post, “Mississauga residents may be eligible for discounted bus fares on MiWay”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “Bombardier promises it can meet final deadline for new streetcars”, here.
- InsideToronto.com article, “Take a ride down memory lane as TTC puts its vintage streetcars back on track”, here.
- Metro Toronto article, “TTC’s iconic vintage streetcar is back and it’s free”, here.
- Net News Ledger post, “TTC Delay Results in Job Loss for Thunder Bay”, here.
- Ride This Crazy Train post, “Did you know that the bi-level part of GO train coaches is the “semi-Quiet Zone”? Me neither”, here.
- South Bayview Bulldog post, “Bombardier fires bosses, dumps Mexico factory”, here.
- TBNews Watch post, “Bombardier shifting 60 jobs out of [Thunder Bay] plant”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Bombardier shifts production in bid to speed up Toronto streetcar deliveries”, here.
- Toronto Star article, “Bombardier details new production schedule for long-delayed TTC streetcars”, here.
- Toronto Sun column, “The Way We Were: A look back at when you couldn’t ride a streetcar on a Sunday”, here.
- Urban Toronto post, “Transit Line Studies Advance With New Round of Consultations”, here.
- AM 900 CHML commentary, “Is Hamilton About to Reject A Billion Dollar Transit Plan?”, here.
- AM 900 CHML report, “Unanswered questions eat away at LRT support”, here.
- AM 900 CHML report, “LRT motion gets pushed back again”, here.
- CBC News Hamilton report, “City urged to protect dozens of historic buildings along LRT route”, here.
- CHCH News report, “LRT or bust”, here.
- Flamborough Review commentary, “THE BOTTOM LINE: Tough LRT questions”, here.
- Hamilton Community News article, “Hamilton councillors go different directions on LRT debate”, here.
- Hamilton Community News article, “Hamilton’s light rail transit project drives into political congestion”, here.
- Hamilton Community News editorial, “Hamilton council needs to stop, look at the facts and listen to the public in order to have a real LRT debate”, here.
- Hamilton Community News article, “Hamilton councillor Sam Merulla continues to drive LRT motion”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator editorial, “Send a clear signal - Yes, we will build LRT”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator article, “Councillors continue to debate merits of LRT”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator commentary, “Are we really going to say no to $1 billion?”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator column, “An LRT referendum? Not likely”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator column, “Mayor ‘regrets’ LRT dare”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator column, “LRT vote a high-stakes game with Hamilton’s future”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator commentary, “What to expect when you’re LRTing”, here.
- Hamilton Spectator article, “The writing is on the bus(es): pair charged with vandalism”, here.
- National Post article, “‘It looked like a giant ribcage in the ground’: The centuries-old origins of Silicon Valley North laid bare by LRT build”, here.
- Raise the Hammer post, “Rolston Neighbourhood Action Team Letter to Council on LRT”, here.
- Waterloo Region Record article, “Bombardier moves LRT train production to Kingston to keep project on track”, here.
The City of Toronto is asking residents to help decide the future of rapid transit the city by reviewing and commenting on plans for SmartTrack, Scarborough transit, the Relief Line and Waterfront transit.
Torontonians and residents of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton can provide input on these projects online or at public meetings the City is hosting in partnership with the TTC, WATERFRONToronto and Metrolinx.
Each of the meetings focuses on one of the four key initiatives. A final meeting will address all the projects.
On-line and during public meetings, staff will update information about how the City and Metrolinx will integrate SmartTrack with GO Transit’s regional express rail project, improving rapid transit along three GO corridors in Toronto. SmartTrack plans include more frequent service, more stations and TTC-level fares. On-line and during meetings, staff will also discuss options for extending the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line west to Toronto Pearson International Airport. You can provide input on the plans at http://www.smarttrack.to or during meetings:
The TTC and the City plan to extend the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway line north from Kennedy Station to Scarborough Centre. The longer subway would encourage further development of Scarborough Centre. On-line and during a public meeting, staff will present their evaluation of various options for the extension. You can provide input on the plans at http://www.scarboroughsubwayextension.ca or during the meeting:
To further increase transit access in Scarborough, staff are also examining options for a light rail transit line to connect Kennedy Station with the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus along Eglinton Avenue East, Kingston Road and Morningside Avenue. This project would better communities in the corridor and improve access to jobs and other destinations for nearby residents. You can provide input on the plans at http://www.toronto.ca/transitTO or during the meeting:
The City and TTC are planning a new subway line, linking downtown with the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway east of the Don River. The line would relieve crowding on the 1 Yonge - University line at Bloor - Yonge Station and on streetcar and bus routes to and from downtown. On-line and during a public meeting, staff will present the results of their evaluation of alignment options and potential locations for station entrances. You can provide input on the proposed route at http://www.reliefline.ca or during the meeting:
This study establishes a proposal for a comprehensive waterfront transit network and identifies current and future transit needs. Staff will develop and evaluate a range of early concepts to help them determine a transit line to integrate north - south transit and link people from across the city to the waterfront. You can provide input on the proposal at http://www.toronto.ca/transitTO or during meetings:
Project-specific meetings take place in:
One final meeting featuring all four projects takes place:
The City of Toronto is again hosting its annual Victoria Day fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay Park, starting at 9:45 p.m. Monday, May 23. The park stretches along the south side of Lake Shore Boulevard East between Woodbine and Coxwell Avenues.
The City expects that more than 80,000 people will visit the park and other nearby Eastern Beaches to watch the skies light up. It’s encouraging everyone to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle or travel by transit to and from the event.
To handle the crowds, the TTC usually increases service to the park and the Beach neighbourhood by operating more buses and streetcars along nearby routes throughout the afternoon and evening.
This year, it’s detouring or adding more service to buses and streetcars operating along these routes:
The TTC has issued a news release to explain to passengers why it shut down part of the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway line yesterday, Thursday, May 19.
At about 4:30 p.m. yesterday TTC staff received reports about smoke at Jane and Runnymede stations, and then on an empty train at High Park Station. The TTC suspended subway service between Keele and Islington stations, called Toronto Fire Services, evacuated stations and operated shuttle buses to replace subway service.
TTC crews repaired the train they believed was the source of the smoke, but when they restored power, a communications cable at Runnymede Station arc-ed and smoked, knocking out communications at the station. While crews and Toronto Fire investigated that problem, the TTC restored service west of Jane Station at 6:10 p.m., shortening the turn-backs to Keele and Jane instead of Keele and Islington stations.
The TTC dispatched staff from across the network to help passengers, safely evacuate stations and manage shuttle buses. At the peak of the incident, it operated 65 shuttle buses. During emergencies when the TTC has to close the subway, it pulls shuttle buses from routes throughout the city. The buses may take some time to get on scene, particularly in rush-hour traffic.
TTC staff made announcements throughout the subway system over the evening and continued to issue e-Alerts and social media updates. The news release explains, “Communications is always a challenge in these situations, but was worsened by loss of communications at Runnymede Station.”
The release continues, “Subway service cannot safely operate without adequate radio communications. A decision was made at approximately 10 p.m. to suspend service between Keele and Jane stations for the rest of the night to allow crews to inspect the affected area and to ensure it was safe and ready for this morning’s start of service.”
Service was problem-free today.
TTC staff continue to investigate the root cause of these fires. The TTC believes, however, that the problem began with a faulty power cable on the underside of a westbound train.
According to the TTC, “Safety comes before service. The TTC appreciates the frustration these situations can cause, but it will not compromise public or employee safety whenever fire or smoke is detected. There were no reports of any customer injuries last evening and we thank our employees and our partners at Toronto Fire, Toronto Police and Metrolinx for their assistance.”
The City of Toronto is reducing the Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway by one lane in each direction in the area of the former Dowling Avenue bridge from tonight Friday, May 20 at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, May 24 at 5 a.m. as crews get ready to install the temporary pedestrian bridge in a few weeks.
The City will further reduce the expressway by two lanes in each direction overnight:
- Saturday, May 21 from 1 until 7 a.m.;
- Sunday, May 22 from 2 until 8 a.m.;
- Monday, May 23 from 1 until 8 a.m.; and
- Tuesday, May 24 from 2 until 5 a.m.
Crews will install the temporary bridge for pedestrians and cyclists the weekend of Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 (when the City closes the entire expressway for the Ride for Heart). The bridge links pedestrians and cyclists between Parkdale and the Western Beaches.
While the City is restricting lanes on the Gardiner, GO Transit passengers riding buses operating along these routes can expect delays:
- 16 Hamilton / Toronto express;
- 18 / 18B / 18C / 18D / 18E / 18F / 18G / 18H Lakeshore West early morning / late night;
- 21 / 21A / 21B / 21D / 21H / 21N / 21P Milton / Toronto;
- 31 / 31A / 31E / 31F / 31H / 31N Guelph / Georgetown / Toronto; and
- 63 King City / Toronto.
At most times while the expressway is closed, GO is likely detouring the buses along Lake Shore Boulevard West, instead of the Gardiner, but the buses serve all regular stops. However, GO Transit Control monitors road conditions and may direct bus drivers to detour along other streets, depending on traffic flow.
The City of Toronto is closing:
- Bathurst Street at Highway 401
as Ontario Ministry of Transportation contractors repair the overpass overnight from late Saturday until early Sunday.
The TTC is detouring buses operating along these routes, while the street is closed: