Mike Filey passed along to me a clipping from the Toronto Star of June 29, 1977.
A high-speed streetcar line providing service between the Scarborough Town Centre and the Bloor-Danforth subway has been approved by Metro Council.
The $108.7-million line … was approved on a 23-8 vote.
Streetcars on a separate right-of-way should make the trip in about 15 minutes.
The cost of this route was to be shared 75-25 between Queen’s Park and Toronto.
It is no secret that this line was not built, nor was the planned extension to what is now Malvern Centre. Instead, Queen’s Park, always happy to meddle in Toronto’s transit planning, strong-armed Toronto and the TTC into changing to the technology we now have on the RT at a cost, by the time the line was finished, of about $240m. The hope for low-cost transit expansion was dashed by a technology that was almost as expensive as a subway.
The network that might have sprung from this to serve Scarborough and other suburbs never materialized. Instead, we have endured 36 years of arguments about where we can afford to put our next subway lines, one at a time.
Premier Bill Davis may have said that the city is for people, not for cars, but he did bugger all to advance that position by making Toronto a showcase for a failed transit technology rather than a burgeoning network that grew along with and shaped its suburbs.