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The Toronto Streetcar Page Trivia Answers 1999 Archive

Click here to return to the trivia answers for 2000.

(December 4, 1999): Where did the Belt Line cars operate?

  • (Winner: Hugh McAulay) The trick of this question is that there were two generations of Belt Line Streetcars. The first (and classic) version began operation on November 16, 1891, using horse cars operating both ways in a circle along King Street, Spadina Avenue, Bloor Street and Sherbourne Street. This route was electrified on December 15, 1892, and abandoned in 1923 as part of a significant route realignment by the fledgling TTC. The second version was the Belt Line Tour Tram, using rebuilt Witt cars in 1973. The first route ran along Queen Street, Church Street, King Street and Spadina Avenue and was initially very popular. A regular TTC fare was charged and transfers offered to and from connecting routes. The next year took the route along a wider, and more meandering circle, but ridership was starting to fall off. It was cancelled after its third year in operation.

(November 15, 1999): What was the longest, regularly scheduled, non-interurban streetcar run in the TTC's history?

  • (Winner: Alex Leonard) Alex correctly got the information listed in John Bromley's Wheels of Progress. The answer was the Bingham-Long Branch 'night' run made by the Queen Streetcar at the start of night service. It clocked in at 15.8 miles, almost half a mile longer than the typical Neville-Long Branch night service. This service, the result of every second Queen car being routed to Bingham experimentally after the fall of Kingston Road-Coxwell service in 1966, was also the least frequent streetcar service, with a car departing every Sunday morning at 1:02 a.m.
Car 4031 in Neville Loop

Air Electric PCC 4031 loops... where? Photo donated by Curt Frey.

(October 15, 1999): Where was this picture taken??

  • (Winner: Peter Coulman) Although the area has changed significantly, the style has remained, and so many people were able to recognize Neville Loop before its rebuild in 1967. Peter Coulman was the first. I have a confession to make, however. Until I visited the loop myself during the October 30th TTS charter, I didn't know the answer, and had lobbed this trivia question in the hopes of identifying the loop. Most picked Neville, although one picked Lawton Loop and another suggested that the loop was Jane, as the car turned left to enter the loop. I'm not so sure that the car is turning to the left to enter the loop -- it looks like it's turned right into an S-curve. It is certainly facing south, and the storefronts aren't of the style seen around Jane Street. Jane loop also had terminal facilities for buses and Neville did not. Good guess, though...

(September 1, 1999): Where could you find streetcar tracks on Woodbine Avenue?

  • (Winner: None) A lot of people guessed that tracks existed on Woodbine north of Danforth Avenue between 1966 and 1968 to allow Danforth shuttle streetcars to enter Woodbine Station. That's not correct. These tracks were run up Cedervale instead. According to such sources as John F. Bromley's TTC '28, a single track ran up Woodbine Avenue for a few dozen feet north of Queen Street. A remnant of an abandoned wye, it did not see a streetcar for most of its life, and it remained in view until removed during roadwork in the 1950s.

(August 15, 1999): What was the only streetcar in Toronto to operate with an electronic rollsign?

  • (Winner: Daniel Garcia) A number of people got this answer right, but Daniel was the quickest on the draw. He correctly identified ALRV demonstrator 4900 as the only car to operate on the streets of Toronto with an electronic rollsign. This demonstrator vehicle had a number of experimental differences from normal streetcars, including had controls and a pantograph (the latter of which had to be replaced). It was also painted in a distinctive orange based paint scheme instead of the TTC's usual red. None of these experimental features came to be used in subsequent ALRVs. Wolfgang Auer gets an honourable mention, however, for providing an answer which, while not what I was looking for, still provides some interesting information. In his words: 'A streetcar that definitely *was* in Toronto and shows the unfortunate tendency to abandon printed rolls for electronic route displays is Kassel's brand new # 604, made by DWA, which was shipped to Toronto during the UITP Congress this year (1999). The batch from which the streetcar was chosen, by the way, also is the first one ever in Kassel equipped with dot matrix boards, something I much regret.' Thanks, Wolfgang!

(August 6, 1999): What was the last PCC streetcar to operate in revenue service in Toronto, when did it run and on what route?

  • (Winner: Peter Kohler) Peter Kohler was the first person to respond to this question, and he got it right immediately. In his words "Operator Frank Hood concluded the last scheduled PCC run in Toronto when he guided Carlton (short-turn) car no. 4611 into Roncesvalles depot at 9:31 p.m. on 8 December 1995." An event bringing to a close a fifty-seven year era to a major transit agency is bound to be etched in some people's minds.

    Hans Leonhardt later wrote in to add: "The actual operator that day was myself and I knew that it meant a lot to Frank to be photographed and mentioned in the newspapers. As I am not to keen on that sort of thing I let him take over at (Lansdowne)... ...I would like to say that I really enjoyed that last trip and that we had a lot of streetcar buffs on board and that at every stop there were people to say goodbye to the last PCC on the Carlton line. We also had a gentleman from America on board who actually purchased this last streetcar to be shipped to the United States. He had a camera on the dashboard and filmed the entire run and promised me that he would send me a copy of this. A year later I received that copy (VHS) which is still in my possession and I send him a letter to thank him. I heard later on that this gentleman who's name I had forgotten had passed away."
Single rollsign PCC

PCC 4752 provides dramatic proof that some PCCs only had a single rollsign in front. Here, 4752 poses with a Kansas City linen at Hillside Wye on a fantrip. Click on the thumbnail to see the full picture. This photo was donated by Curt Frey...

(August 1, 1999): Other than the CLRVs, what were the only streetcars to display route and destination on a single front rollsign?

  • (Winner: Brad O'Brien) A number pointed out that, technically, ALRVs are not CLRVs, so they are part of the answer. They weren't the answer I was looking for, but I'm not a professional at this trivia writing. Brad O'Brien was the first one to get the other half of the answer, however: "the ex Kansas City PCCs (4750 - 4779). They Kansas City cars mainly ran out of St. Clair Division, so they only had routes which ran out of St. Clair on their rollsigns. Whenever they were sent to Russell or Roncesvalles as a changeoff or spare, they had to run with blank signs."

(June 1, 1999): After the Long Branch streetcar, what streetcar route brought TTC cars furthest west?

  • (Winner: None) I was surprised that nobody got this question, although many tried valiantly. Some looked at recent maps and deduced that if you eliminated the Long Branch streetcar, then the Queen car extended furthest west at Humber Loop. Others thought that Bloor's Jane Loop was further west than Humber Loop (wrong, but not by much) and picked that. This wasn't the answer I was looking for.

    The Weston Road streetcar operated with cars that could also be seen running up and down Spadina Avenue until 1948, so Weston Road can be considered a city-style route... and it crosses Jane Street and runs much further west than either the Queen Streetcar or the Bloor-Danforth. It's northern (and western)-most terminus is roughly on the same longitude as Queens Avenue and Lakeshore Boulevard in the village of Mimico, just a couple of blocks east of Royal York Road...

    And if you want to quibble about the difference between double-ended and single-ended cars, I'll remind you all of the story of the driver of the St. Clair streetcar who missed her loop and ended up on the single track portion of the Weston Road car line. To deal with this, it was decided to take the PCC to the very end of the Weston line where it was stored to the end of the day, after which time it was towed backwards to the nearest loop...

(May 1, 1999): What were the streetcar routes owned by the Toronto Suburban Railway that weren't taken over by the Toronto Transportation Commission?

  • (Winner: Darwin O'Connor) The Toronto Transportation Commission ran four streetcar routes in York Township: Oakwood and Rogers Road, which they built, and Weston and Lambton, which they purchased from the Toronto Suburban Railway in the mid to late 1920s. The Toronto Suburban Railway's operations also included a line down Davenport Road (which the TTC also bought), a line into Woodbridge and a line into Guelph (a portion of which the Halton County Radial Railway Museum now operates). These lines were not financially sound and the Woodbridge and Guelph lines collapsed soon thereafter. By the mid 1930s, nothing was left of the Toronto Suburban Railway.

(April 12, 1999): What was the last streetcar service to operate to the Ferry Docks before the Harbourfront streetcar opened?

  • (Winner: Brad O'Brien) Many of you knew that the Dupont Streetcar outlasted the Bay Streetcar and finished its operations running from a line between Christie and Dupont to the Ferry Docks. Many of you assumed that, when the Dupont Streetcar disappeared coincident with the opening of the University Subway in 1963. These people were, however, wrong. Although the Dupont streetcar was replaced by a Bay bus in 1963, tracks took a little longer to vanish from Bay Street. City Hall Loop ran south of Dundas Street until 1974, and the tracks to the Ferry Docks lasted until 1965. During summer months until 1965, Dundas Streetcars were often extended south of City Hall Loop to provide extra service to the Ferries. The service operated until August 15, 1965, but the loop remained usable until September 7th of that year.

(March 18, 1999): What subway stations on the University Subway line have had direct connections (meaning, ability to change from subway to streetcar and vice versa without using a paper transfer) with streetcar routes in their history?

  • (Winner: Neil Hacioglu) This was a bit of a trick question. Officially, the TTC states that the Yonge Subway runs from Finch Station to Union Station, and that the University Subway runs from Union Station to St. George Station, meaning that Union Station sits on both the Yonge and University lines. Therefore, the answer is that two stations on the University line offered direct transfers with streetcar routes: Union and St. George. Union Station started offering this service in 1990 when the Harbourfront streetcar opened, and still serves the Spadina cars. As for St. George, the Danforth Tripper made connections with the subway here, after the University line opened in 1963, but before the Bloor line opened in 1966.

(March 7, 1999): In which directions (east, west, south and north) has the Toronto city streetcar system extended further than Toronto's current subway system?

  • (Winner: Alex Leonard) Alex got this one, right off the bat, pointing out that Toronto's city streetcars have, and continue to operate further west and south than the current subway system. To the west, PCC streetcars trundled to the Small Arms Loop just inside what is today Mississauga; nowadays, they turn back at Long Branch loop, which is still further west than Kipling Station. To the south, yesterday's Bay, and today's Spadina/Harbourfront streetcars start from Union Station and south to the Lake Shore -- and Toronto's Queen streetcars run further south than that when they head to Long Branch. If you take Toronto's radial cars into account, then streetcars have run further north and east as well -- to Richmond Hill and Lake Simcoe to the north and to West Hill to the east. Neither of these services were considered part of the 'city' service, however.

(December 12, 1999): Where did streetcars of the Toronto Civic Railways and the Toronto Railway Company operate side by side?

  • (Winner: None) Nobody got this one, except for Hugh McAuley, and since he made up this question, he doesn't get to answer it. The question asks where TRC and TCR streetcars operated parallel to each other on the same street, and there was only one place that this happened: at Avenue Road and St. Clair. There, the Toronto Civic Railway operated the St. Clair line, while the Toronto Railway Company turned their Avenue Road cars here. The TRC's turning arrangement was a wye, where cars turned to the right, onto St. Clair Avenue, backed across the intersection, just to the south of the TCR St. Clair tracks, and then turned south on Avenue Road. Although there were other places where the TCR and the TRC made connections (Danforth and Broadview, Greenwood and Gerrard), there were no places where their tracks were exactly side-by-side.

(November 29, 1998): Lawton Loop at Yonge and Lawton has a special connection to the subway. What was it?

  • (Winner: Tracy Smith) Lawton Loop was the only streetcar loop to physically store a subway car. The incident happened in the summer of 1953, after Gloucester cars 5000 & 5001 arrived in Toronto in time to be shown at the CNE. They were mounted on Brill shop trucks and towed from Hillcrest to the Ex via the Bathurst line, which had to be replaced by buses for that night to allow clearance for the ten-foot wide subway cars. When the Ex closed, the cars were remounted on the shop trucks (they had been displayed at the Ex on their own trucks) and were towed at night via the Yonge route to the new Davisville Shops. 5001 derailed while negotiating the sharp curve of the temporary trackage connection between Yonge Street and the shops, and although it could be re-railed and moved into the shops before the first southbound day car on Yonge, there was not enough time to get 5001 into the shops. It was therefore moved hurriedly into Lawton Loop where it spent the entire day, no doubt attracting much attention from passing Yonge riders. That night, buses were substituted for Yonge Night cars, as they had been the previous night, and 5001 finally made it into the shops.

(November 14, 1998): Other than the stretch between Queen Street and the Dufferin Gates, where else on Dufferin Street was there streetcar tracks?

  • (Winner: Hugh McAuley) Hugh McAuley correctly identifies the short jog on Dufferin Street between Hallam and Lappin Avenues. In his words 'The TRC opened this trackage on October 18th, 1918 when the HARBORD service was extended from Bloor, to wye at the junction of Lappin and Lansdowne until extended a few weeks later to wye at Royce. This bit of trackage appears to have been used by HARBORD until the Ossington trolley coach route was opened on December 8th, 1947, when Harbord was diverted from Ossington via Bloor, Dovercourt, Davenport, Old Weston Road to Townsley Loop., and the tracks on Hallam, Dufferin and Lappin taken out of use.' Hugh also was able to come up with this tidbit of information: 'After the Toronto Street Railway Company surrendered its franchise in May, 1891, the City constructed track on Dufferin Street from Bloor north to the city boundary at the railway tracks. This track was not placed in service, and was removed by the Toronto Railway Company, when electric lines were opened in other streets in this area.'

(November 7, 1998): What streetcars turned back at Sumach Street in Old Cabbagetown?

  • (Winner: Hugh McAuley) Hugh McAuley correctly identifies the Winchester (later Parliament) Streetcar which, after operating up Parliament, turned east onto Winchester, ending at a wye at Sumach Street. The service ended on the 3rd of August 1924

(October 12, 1998): Did St. Clair Streetcars ever operate into Downtown Toronto?

  • (Winner: Hugh McAuley) The key to this question is that these are St. Clair Streetcars, with St. Clair route signs on them, and not just any streetcar that operated on St. Clair Avenue. A number of people submitted answers which included the operation of the Bay Streetcar, which wasn't correct. Hugh McAuley gets this one: there are two cases. Until 1940, St. Clair night cars operated from Keele, along St. Clair and then south on Yonge Street to loop at Union Station. This operated doubled the frequency of Yonge Street south of St. Clair to fifteen minutes. This operation ended on November 2, 1940 when St. Clair cars were routed over their day route to Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton, while 15 minute frequency on Yonge was extended all the way north to Glen Echo. The second instance is more tricky: Until March 30, 1954, Bathurst Tripper cars operated from Avon Loop on Weston Road, via Weston, Keele, St. Clair, Bathurst and Front to loop at Scott Street in Downtown Toronto. Although this route was known as the Bathurst Tripper, cars departing Scott Street had 'St Clair' on their route signs, making them St. Clair Streetcars. This service ended with the opening of the Yonge Subway. Today, the closest St. Clair cars come to the downtown is on its runs in and out of service from Roncesvalles Carhouse.

(September 5, 1998): When did streetcars stop running on Weston Road?

  • (Winner: Hugh McAuley) There were a few tricks to this question, but Hugh nailed it in one. The Weston Road Streetcar, a remnant of an interurban that went all the way to Woodbridge, operated using double ended streetcars until the line was replaced by a trolley bus line in 1948. However, tracks remained on Weston Road between Keele Street and Avon Crescent (just south of Rogers Road). St. Clair cars and Bathurst Trippers continued service to Avon Loop well past the abandonment of Weston Road Streetcars. Indeed, St. Clair maintained its odd Avon Loop rush-hour service until the day the Bloor-Danforth subway opened, in 1966. If you wanted to be pedantic, you could argue that Keele Loop, where regular St. Clair cars turned, was located right where Weston Road became Keele Street, and that streetcars might actually be running on a few feet of Weston, but that wasn't the answer I was looking for. Keele Loop was replaced by Maybank (later renamed Gunns) Loop a few blocks further west in 1980.

(August 31, 1998): Outside of the carhouses and Hillcrest Shops, where is the TTC's only permanent streetcar crossover?

  • (Winner: Clayton Tucker) Clayton Tucker was the first to identify the crossover on Dufferin Street, just north of Queen. Streetcars using it would have to move over it, in either direction, and then back into it. It was Tom Twigge-Molecey of the UCRS who identified why this crossover exists. In his words, 'To allow a damaged car that is facing the wrong way on any given piece of track to be towed from the undamaged end (usually the front end gets damaged). This allows the towing and the coupled damaged car to proceed to Hillcrest shops on the correct direction track. This arrangement allows safe towing by the using the undamaged end of the car. This crossover also serves as the Roncesvalles car house crossover track'.

(August 31, 1998 - ALTERNATE QUESTION): PCCs and Witts never operated on Sherbourne Street during regular service. Why was this?

  • (Winner: Tracy Smith) Tracy correctly identified that the reason was due to the 'devil-strip', that area between the two sets of tracks. Today's standard devil-strip width is roughly five and a half feet wide, but in the TRC days, the strip was much narrower, closer to three feet. TRC cars were built slightly offset in order to compensate for this, but neither Witts nor PCCs were. The TTC replaced most of the TRC track with new tracks featuring wider devil strips, but one exception was the bridge north of Bloor, leading into Rosedale. As a result, TRC cars were the base equipment for this route, although Glen Franks of the Halton County Railway Museum notes that PCCs and Witts were used on the infrequently scheduled King Tripper service, which did not use the bridge north of Bloor Street.

(August 17, 1998): What were the three north-south streetcar routes abandoned between April 1, 1954 and the day before opening of the Bloor-Danforth Subway.

  • (Winner: Darwin O'Connor) On May 16, 1954, Church streetcars were 'temporarily' replaced by buses in order to ease a power shortage in the area caused by the Yonge Subway. In 1961, Oakwood streetcars fell to an extension of the Ossington Trolley Bus. Finally, in 1963, on the day that the University Subway opened, streetcars stopped running on the Dupont route along Bay Street between Christie Loop and the Ferry Docks. Dupont's abandonment also officially brought to a close the Peter Witt era of the TTC.

(July 24, 1998): Name all of the electric transit routes to have used Davenport Road in its history.

  • (Winner: None) Electric service on Davenport began with the Toronto Suburban Railway's single-track line from Dundas and Keele to Bathurst Street via Keele, St. Clair, Ford and Davenport. After the TTC took over, service on Davenport west of Dovercourt was taken over by the Dovercourt Streetcar, while the loop-less segment between Dovercourt and Bathurst was handled by double ended cars on the Davenport stub service. Davenport cars disappeared by 1940, and Harbord cars replaced Dovercourt cars on Davenport after 1947. Harbord cars lost a segment of track between Townsley Loop and St. Clarens during the late 1950s, but maintained service on Davenport until the route was abandoned in 1966. East of Spadina, let's not forget the contribution of the Bay Streetcar, which used Davenport to get from Bay Street to Dupont Street. Dupont cars took that over until 1963, and then Annette trolley buses traversed a short stretch. This stretch was extended east from Bedford Road to Bay Street again (with a loop along Davenport to Yonge) by the Bay trolley bus in 1973. It and Annette were the last two electric transit routes to use Davenport in 1993 when the trolley bus reprieve ended. No electric transit operates along Davenport Road anymore.

(July 19, 1998): If a Grand Union is a streetcar intersection where cars travelling in any of the four directions can carry through, turn left or turn right, is perhaps a streetcar intersection with no turns allowed a 'Non Union'? Whatever, the Toronto Transit Commission has had three such intersections. Name them.

  • (Winner: Hugh McAulay) Hugh had help from the TTC Track Diagram for May 1st 1936, but he got the answer nonetheless. The intersections were: Lansdowne and Davenport, Harbord and Bathurst, and Sherbourne and Dundas. For whatever reason, no turns were allowed on these streets, despite the fact that the Davenport trackage went very close to the Lansdowne Carhouse, and the Harbord and Dovercourt cars using this track were often stationed there. Davenport and Lansdowne remained as a Non-union until sometime between 1947 and 1954. After the Lansdowne Streetcar was converted to bus operation, Lansdowne Carhouse continued to service streetcars. The trackage north of Davenport was surplus and could be removed, but a connection to Davenport was deemed useful. Of the other two Non-Unions, Sherbourne and Dundas disappeared before 1954, when the Sherbourne Streetcar was abandoned. The Harbord-Bathurst intersection fell with the abandonment of the Harbord Streetcar in 1966. Neither lost their Non-Union status until the end.

(July 2, 1998): What street in Toronto features, on part of its length, a full set of double streetcar tracks, but which has the least amount of transit service, either by buses or streetcars

  • (Winner: Brad O'Brien and Peter Drost) Brad O'Brien correctly points out that the true answer is Wychwood Avenue. A set of double tracks run from at least Benson Avenue, north two blocks, to St. Clair. There is no regularly scheduled bus or streetcar service on this street. It wasn't quite the answer I was looking for, as the Wychwood tracks are in a bit of a grey area, in that they're not supposed to be used, except in the most extreme emergencies. With the TTC washing its hands of Wychwood Carhouse, the tracks on Wychwood are likely to be removed at some point, and may not even be considered part of the streetcar network... Peter Drost picked the answer I was looking for: Victoria Street runs for five blocks in downtown Toronto, and only one of those blocks (Richmond to Queen) is used, five times a day, by the 508 Lake Shore streetcar. Dundas cars used to use the portion between Queen and Dundas, but this rush-hour short-turn was eliminated years ago. A number of people picked Church and Wellington, but portions of these streets are used frequently during rush-hours by the 503 Kingston Road Tripper, and Adelaide Street is used frequently during rush-hours by the Premium Express buses looping downtown.
Eglinton Rollsign

Despite what this misplaced side rollsign says, there was never an Eglinton Streetcar route. However, there were enough tracks on Eglinton Avenue at one point to build one of respectable length...

(June 14, 1998): Where on Eglinton Avenue could you find streetcar tracks, either on or crossing the street?

  • (Winner: Anne Stokell) At one point, there were three segments of trackage on Eglinton Avenue. Starting from Mount Pleasant, where St. Clair streetcars crossed Eglinton on the way to Eglinton Loop, a set of double tracks ran down the middle of the street to Yonge Street, providing a connection to Eglinton Carhouse. Tracks continued from Yonge Street to Duplex street, but no provision was made for cars crossing Yonge Street at the intersection; you could turn left or right, but you couldn't go through. Further west, the Oakwood Streetcar provided service along Eglinton from Oakwood Avenue to Gilbert Loop (near Caledonia) and, west of that, Eglinton Avenue crossed the Weston Streetcar route at Weston Road. This arrangement was in place as late as 1948, when streetcars were removed from Weston Road. The tracks between Yonge and Mount Pleasant fell into disuse and were paved over soon after the Yonge Subway opened, and the Oakwood Streetcar was replaced by an extension of the Ossington Trolley Bus in 1961. The last set of working tracks across Eglinton stopped working in 1976 when the Mount Pleasant streetcar route was abandoned.