August 4, 2012 by Steve
Looking Back: Services to the CNE
With all the recent talk about Ontario Place, and with Exhibition season almost upon us, I thought this would be a good excuse for photos of streetcar services to the Ex. Decades ago, the CNE raised much bigger crowds and there was a time it really was a showcase, an “exhibition”. I remember when the “Better Living Centre” was brand new, and its intent was to give fairgoers a look at all that was new and exciting in household goods. The Internet didn’t exist yet, and the phenomenon of the shopping mall full of goods manufactured anywhere but here was in its infancy.
The TTC ran many streetcar services into the Ex over the years, and parades of cars would leave the grounds following the evening fireworks. (Transit Toronto has a short history of the CNE services on its website.)
The photos here have been chosen not just for the fact that cars might be operating on Exhibition routes, but also for interesting details about what is, or is not, still in the city today.
Dundas Exhibition Cars
Ex Birmingham Alabama PCC 4706 eastbound leaving Runnymede Loop on Dundas Street in early September 1967. Exhibition services had special red destination signs for the west (Dufferin) and east entrance loops. There are no route numbers because the CLRVs and their unromantic “500-series” signs were not even dreamed of.
This would be the final year for Exhibition service to this part of Toronto as the streetcar service would be cut back to Dundas West the following May when the BD extension west from Keele opened. The new trolleybus overhead for the Junction bus is hanging just above the streetcar overhead.
4726 eastbound on Dundas at St. John’s Road. “Fina” is long gone as a corner gas station brand.
4725 eastbound at Dundas and Quebec. The hangers for trolleybus overhead are in place, but there is no contact wire yet. Corner grocery stores can still be found around Toronto, but not the ubiquitous and wide open newspaper boxes.