As a holiday present for my faithful readers, a selection of photos taken at nights on the streets of Toronto.
This set begins in 1967 and runs through to early 1972. During this period, a friend and I spent a lot of time chasing works equipment to various track projects around town. Standard M.O.: sit opposite Hillcrest gate waiting for the work cars to depart, follow them on their way, and set up for photos when they stayed put long enough.
Many of the PCC photos are from all-night charters, yes, I admit it, “fantrips” where a bunch of rail buffs of dubious sanity would not only stay up all night riding a streetcar and photographing it, but would charter a car for the purpose. Professionals have words for such people, and these tend to be dismissive at best suggesting that the “foamers” are unfit to comment on transit policy. I won’t say anything about the competence of those making such remarks beyond noting that I have a blog now, four decades on, and they don’t.
The date is December 1967, and the maple leaf flag only a few years old. The view is at Davisville & Mt. Pleasant looking northeast.
Ex-Cincinnati air-electric PCC 4593 on a charter trip westbound at the South Kingsway stop on The Queensway. April 1967.
At Coxwell-Queen Loop.
Dawn at old Neville Loop.
The curve at Neville was too tight for multiple-unit cars to traverse, and the loop was rebuilt in August 1967. Crane car C-2 waits for work to get underway sitting on the tail track on Neville Park Blvd.
Switching over from the old, tight loop at Neville to the new one with a straightened section for coupling and a more graceful curve out onto Nursewood Road.
Cutting the rails of the old loop out with the new track already in place underneath.
Jane Loop in February 1968. Yes, this is a fantrip with the car, an ex-Cleveland PCC, witting on the spare track.
Jane Loop again, this time on May 10, 1968 on a fantrip to mark the end of streetcar service on the Bloor-Danforth shuttles when the subway extensions to Islington and Warden opened.
Luttrell Loop, the east end of the Danforth line.
The last car in Runnymede Loop. Service notices, printed on more robust stock than the TTC tends to use today, are posted on the carstop.
City Hall Loop at James and Albert Streets. This location completely changed with the construction of the Eaton Centre and the Bell Trinity Square building.
Dundas near Gore Vale in September 1968. In those days, service operated through track construction projects except when the time came to lift rails, and even then a work car might show up in the middle of service to drop off or pick up material. Crane car C-2 was, by 1968, the only remaining of its type in the fleet as C-1 had been damaged in a derailment and was eventually donated to the OERHA museum at Rockwood.
C2 westbound at Dundas and Bathurst. The library on the southeast corner was brand new, but most of the office towers (not to mention the condos) that now make up the view of downtown had yet to be built.
C2 northbound on Bay at Gerrard. The Ford Hotel’s sign in the background and much the foreground buildings are long gone. June 1969
Flat car W-8 eastbound on Fleet at Bathurst with the still very active Loblaws warehouse in the background.
W-8 eastbound in Russell Yard. The CLRVs that would replace all those PCCs were still a decade in the future, and in 1969 even the fate of the PCCs was uncertain.
Looking south on McCaul from College in July 1969.
Removing the special work at King and Parliament leading to Parliament Loop (now the site of an auto salesroom). July 1969.
Looking east on Dundas from the junction with College Street. July 1969. The Lansdowne Tavern and many other watering holes of its era are no more.
When the TTC still welded its rails into strings (a practice discontinued from about 1970 until the 1990s), the sections would be laid out in the curb lane of a street for thermite welding by the day shift. The night crews would come later to change out the old running rails for the new track.
Replacing track at Dundas and Brock. August 1969.
Dundas & McCaul looking south in July 1969. None of the buildings on this corner remain with the AGO expansion taking the southwest corner and the Village by the Grange on the southeast.
Removing the special work at Church and Front/Wellington. July 1970. W-4 is northbound on Church.
Car 4551, ex-Cincinnati, and a St. Clair Division car, far from home on the Queen line at Humber and at Neville Loops. July 1971.
4551 again (yes, another charter), in City Hall Loop westbound on Albert at Bay seen from the walkway around New City Hall. A vestigial reminder of the track that once ran through the City Hall site is visible just in front of the car.
In our travels, we encountered C-2 on its way back to Hillcrest here in Bathurst Station.
Ex-Birmingham car 4732 sits in McCaul Loop under the Canada Life weather beacon. The Village by the Grange had not yet been built over the site. May 1972.
Charter car 4732 waits behind the King night car (remember when King had all night service?) at Broadview Station.
4732 at High Park Loop at dawn.